This is the expat life: you never know when someone you see every day is going to disappear forever, instantly transmogrifying into a phantom. Before long you won’t be able to remember her last name, the color of her eyes, the grades that her children were in. You can’t imagine not seeing her tomorrow. You can’t imagine you yourself being one of those people, someone who one day just vanishes. But you are.
—From the novel The Expats by Chris Pavone
Paths do diverge, and friendships do fade. But…
I don’t think anyone just vanishes, not in this digital age, not in this interconnected world, not unless it is a willful act, and not even then.
Maybe in the age of the steamboat and the telegram, but we have this thing called “social media” now.
And expats can and do build meaningful and lasting friendships. These friendships do conquer distance, and paths do cross again, more often than you might expect (speaking from personal experience here).
Distance is not the formidable barrier it once was, and expat friendships are often made of stronger stuff.
But then again, what the hell do I know?