Those of us who are divided between or live in between one or two countries have lots in common. That’s clear.

We speak or understand more than one language. We travel more, perhaps. We repeatedly tell the same story once we’re home. We’re made understood in both countries but are we really comprehended?

We’ll always be the ones with double standards, the ones with a wider perspective, the ones who accommodate themselves to foreign bedrooms only to get a grasp of a nuclear family. We’ll always be too early, too late, out of the equation; rarely within it.

But then one day, you may find yourself at the heart of it. At the heart of a family which has nothing to do with you but for which you have a lot to acclaim for. Then what do you do? Do you opt to keep on your own way, pursue you destiny, if you can say that, or do you opt to keep a strong leg within the equation? Let’s put it this way: Who do you spend Christmas with? Yes – it’s that time of the year again.

Us ‘globalised’ people can send ripples of joy across the world in seconds, we can acclaim freedom in all its glory and we can attest to a contemporary lifestyle. Yet all this has nothing to do with family has it? There’s nothing comforting about living away from your close ones. However much you abide to your own quirks. It’s got to be said.

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London