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Hello From the Other Side of the World

This post is long overdue.

4 months. It has been over 4 months since my last blog post. These have been the most drastic 4 months I have ever lived in my entire life. So much so that I couldn’t even get myself to visit my own website, to check my dashboard and approve/reply to comments on old posts.

I just didn’t know where to begin, how to put everything I was going through, everything I was feeling, in words. Until today where I felt like I would just put it out there and ease my anxiety over this matter.

It’s January 30, 2020. I am in Florida. It’s past 11 p.m. (Rise and shine, Beirut!) so it’s almost the last day of the first month of a new year, and I am time-zones away from where I was last year. My kids are sleeping, and I am getting ready to work on some legal translation, I open the documents, take a look at them, and decide I didn’t feel like translating. It can wait till the morning. I’m my own boss. I set my own deadlines. Heck, I feel like checking my website. So I do, and I check all pending comments, and then find myself clicking on “Add New Post”, and here I am. I’m just writing away, and I will publish this post as it is. Real, raw, messy and personal.

So, it’s January 30, 2020. I am in Florida. I left Lebanon on October 13, 2019. I’ve been here for 3 and a half months. During these past few months, SO much has happened. I mean, the unimaginable, the unthinkable, the indescribable happened.

Posing as a family for our last photo in Lebanon, at the airport, as we said goodbye to friends and family.

October 13: Fires raged through Lebanon. I learned the news as soon as I landed in Miami.

October 17: The Lebanese Revolution saw life. A few days ago, the Lebanese celebrated 100 days of Revolution. What happened during this time? Well, I was debating whether I should go through it all in this blog post, but decided I won’t. It’s all over the internet.

The following days and months, I was busy adjusting to my new life in South Florida. The situation in Lebanon broke my heart, but also made me realize I made the right decision. Let me tell you this: The moment I put my kids in the car outside of Miami International Airport, getting ready to drive to our new home in West Palm Beach, I looked at them, smiled gratefully, and said a little “thank you” prayer. I felt the greatest relief a mother could ever feel. I felt peace. It was like a dream.

The first selfie I took after we landed safely.
Side note: traveling with 3 kids is no walk in the park.
And yes, I changed the boys’ clothes during the flight.

Of course I get homesick. I love my Lebanon. I miss my parents, my siblings, my relatives. But I am here with my family. I have 3 boys who need to live a better present and build a better future with more opportunities and, most of all, a healthier environment. They deserve better than what Lebanon has to offer at the moment. They deserve better than corruption, pollution, inflation, sectarianism, and endless, nerve-wrecking traffic and hardly any green spaces. Time is never on our side, and my children deserve a better childhood. Since moving was something I am lucky enough to be able to do, I just couldn’t deprive them from it. It would have remained heavy on my heart for the rest of my life. Guilt would have eaten me slowly.

So here I am, saying hello from the other side of the world, which is now my home. My family and I are healthy and happy, and forever grateful. Grateful to be able to be here, grateful to have been able to make so many beautiful memories in Lebanon. We are hopeful. Hopeful that Lebanon will one day become the sovereign country we dream of coming back to, hopeful that our journey here will continue just as it started: epic, if not even better.

Rania

rania@transpremium.com

I AM RANIA MERCHAK ANDRAOS, A CAREER MOM WITH A PASSION FOR WORDS, FITNESS & HEALTH, AND FOOD! STICK AROUND AND ENJOY THE RIDE AS YOU GET A GLIMPSE OF MY WORLD!

2 Comments
  • Zeina

    Rania, you made the right decision. The USA is God’s little heaven on earth. If you give me millions and ask me to move back to Lebanon, I won’t. Everything is suitable for a family here. You will make more and more friends every day that goes by. And sooner than later, your connections in Lebanon will become a memory altogether, except for the very very few people, who will remain in contact forever. Distance tests relationships and strengthens your heart and soul. You will thrive here as you did in Lebanon. God bless you and your family.

    January 31, 2020 at 4:14 am Reply
    • Rania

      Your words just warmed my heart, Zeina! I know I made the right decision. I will never regret it. My family’s safety is above all! I am sure I will make all my dreams come true in the land of the free. God bless you too!

      January 31, 2020 at 4:23 am Reply

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