The Hardest Time to Live Away From Family

Your Adventure Awaits

We moved to Louisiana 5 years ago. We knew one person (our realtor), we had a house, and we had jobs. We had one child going into 5th grade and one into 2nd grade; it was a true leap into the unknown. The decision to move to Louisiana had been made almost 2 years prior to actually moving. It was cancelled when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, but 6 months after he passed, my mom said that we should follow through with our plans. Life is short, and we should all take a chance when one presents itself.

living away from family

A Long Way From Home

When you ask me now where home is, I say with 100% assurance that it is here. Louisiana is my home; I don’t think I will ever leave. When we officially decided (again) to move to Louisiana, I questioned it over and over again. We would be 2,500 miles away from everything we knew … away from my mom, my grandparents, and even further from my in-laws who live in Alaska. We made the promise to our friends and our families that we would come visit every summer. My mom and my in-laws also vowed to come visit us at least once a year. Friends were already planning their trips to come to New Orleans. This would work, we would stay connected.

Enter Global Pandemic

Here it is, we are near the end of July. This is the time we are usually planning and packing for our trip back to the Pacific Northwest for a week of family, friends, laughter, and the Oregon Brew Fest. When we first entered the official months of summer, I had such high hopes that our months of staying at home would salvage our summer plans, but sadly it hasn’t played out that way. Instead of going to Portland, we are staying home. We are waiting for our schools to roll out an official plan for the upcoming year, and we are starting to see cases rise again. Yes we could get on a plane with masks and gallons of hand sanitizer, but we aren’t because I don’t want to put anyone that I love at an unnecessary risk.

What’s Next

My mom and I were talking the other day about how it wasn’t really real until this week. We are both hoping that her Christmas trip will happen, but as we all know, times are strange. My family will continue to follow the guidelines and hope others do as well, because we are all in this together. While many of us haven’t been directly impacted by the illness of the virus, our lives and normalcy have been. Being thousands of miles away from family is hard enough without the added stress and impacts of COVID. I have seen so many people make social distancing with their extended families and friends work: social distance picnics, hikes, bike rides, grandparents hugging through homemade hug walls, but we can’t do that. I would love more than anything to hug my mom and my grandma, to play with my nieces, and to have a glass of wine with my best friends.

Hopefully next year at this time, I will be packing my bags and prepping my liver for that week that I look forward to all year long, with my best friends and my family. Until then, I will continue to do my part, wear my mask, and be thankful for memories, pictures, and of course all the Zoom and FaceTime calls.

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Nikki was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she has lived in Seattle and Portland. After visiting New Orleans, she fell in love with the city, and she and her husband decided to take a chance and move from the PNW to NOLA. Nikki has two kids, Amaya (15) and Tyson (12), she and her husband Dave have been married for 16 years, they live on the Northshore. Nikki works full time as a NICU nurse. Nikki and her family have fully embraced the culture of New Orleans, while they live on the Northshore, they play in New Orleans as often as they can. As a member of New Orleans Mom, she hopes to bring the perspective of the veteran mom and life with big kids and teenagers.

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