Having a close friend move abroad is tough.
It hurts when they break the news to you that they’re leaving. It hurts when you say your final goodbyes over pints or at the airport. And it seriously hurts when they post envy-inducing photos of themselves living it up on the other side of the world.
Long gone are the days when emigration effectively meant living on another planet. Social media has melted away distances and time differences.
You’ll probably see more of your bestie’s face now that they’re gone than you did when you both lived in the same country, all thanks to modern technology.
But there is a downside to this modern connectedness. Seeing story after story of them exploring a new city, hanging out with new friends or Boomeranging cocktails on the beach while you sit in the office dreading your evening commute isn’t fun – but it’s not the whole picture.
Before you go to mute them, here’s what their posts aren’t telling you:
1. They’re broke
That incredible exhibition they’re visiting? It was free. The mountain they’re on top of? Getting there involved a super cheap six-hour bus journey.
No matter where your pal has moved to, getting set up there and seeing all the sights in a new place will have left them with a major hole in their pocket.
2. They’re homesick
If it feels like your friend is trying very hard to convince everyone at home that they’re having a ball by sharing constant updates, they may actually be trying to convince themselves.
Living the dream in Abu Dhabi or Auckland isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you’re desperately missing your mam, your dog and a Sunday roast.
3. It does rain outside of Ireland
I could be breaking some kind of expat code here but you may as well know – the weather abroad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Whether they’re braving biting cold winds in Vancouver, faced with lung-choking smog in Singapore or scratching mosquito bites in Sydney, you can bet that your friend abroad misses the Irish climate every once in a while.
4. They’re glued to their phone just as much as you are
Living far away means constantly refreshing your feed, for fear of missing out on the local goss.
If anyone at home has gotten pregnant, gotten engaged or gotten dumped, your bestie abroad will probably know about it before you.
5. They are trying to make you jealous
They’ll never admit to it but yes, they do want to rub it in your face just a little bit.
If it’s any consolation, they’re extremely envious that you can get a chicken fillet roll any time you like.
Anna O’Rourke is a freelance writer and proud Cork native. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia where she’s engaged in an ongoing search for some decent black pudding.