From Meagan: 

Oh, look – there I am crying on Skype. That’s an exaggeration. That never happens *cough*
Early on when Jake left, it was really hard for me for a lot of reasons but one of those reasons is that I felt like the least-interesting part of the relationship. Talking to him about establishing his new life in a foreign country made me feel like mowing my lawn and joining the YMCA just paled in comparison. Not that he felt that way, of course. Hearing about my more “normal” life helped us feel connected and helped him feel a bit more grounded in the reality of home.
Then there were all kinds of questions about him, of course. It’s not that I minded the questions, but there were lots of instances where there was clearly more interest about how Jake was doing in Egypt than about anything I was doing in my own life without him. It was easy for me to feel like somehow the most interesting part about me was the fact I had a boyfriend in Africa. That didn’t feel good. I was an interesting person on my own before I even knew Jake existed, and I’m still an interesting person now.
One of the things I actually looked forward to with Jake leaving was being able to really focus on me again. He got the offer for this job about a week after we started dating, so suffice it to say that this experience has really been at the center of our relationship. So much of my time and energy went into getting HIM ready to leave, but nothing was left over to help ME get ready for him to leave.
So finding that balance of focusing on myself again, while talking to curious, well-meaning people who centered Jake in our conversations was difficult. Everything has gotten much, much better since then. But make no mistake – I wouldn’t want to do those first couple of months over again.
From Stretch:
A lot of people do have this impression that I’m always off exploring or something. But just like back in the States, most days I teach and then come home and crash. Not exactly the life of adventure! Meanwhile, Meagan is working on her house and doing half-marathons and whatnot.  And yet, just because I’m in Egypt, it’s considered more exotic or something? Early on, it took a bit of convincing that I do enjoy hearing about Meagan’s life and that it wasn’t boring, but we got there in the end.
On the technical side of things, I think every cartoonist worries about someone accidentally viewing an antagonist as being based off of them. Now, throw in the fact that I have real people in the comic… I wasn’t sure how to show a generic character without accidentally making it appear like someone–and then I remembered that I had an entire cast I developed for five years that I could throw a cameo role in with. And Sally would be more interested in what people would be doing abroad (after all, she was crushing on the Canadian).