Connecting and Learning are important pieces to the next part of this journey for us. Connecting with the international community here. Connecting with the natives of this country. And then learning. Learning the language, the culture, and how to live life on a new dimension. Learning how to receive wisdom and help from others AND learning that we have an important supply to give to others also. So some Lessons Learned:
Make friends by finding the common ground you have. Learn to look past the differences and focus on the common things that connect you together.
Not knowing the language can be a barrier AND it doesn't have to stop you! There are ways to bust through the barrier! Pictures, the internet, hand motions, smiles...all these can be helpful!
Take time to rejuvenate. All the changes and the efforts of adjustment take energy...emotionally and physically. Learn to recognize the need for added rest and down time.
Find familiar. Looking for people who speak your same language and share some of the same culture (like Western culture when you are in the East). Starbucks is one of our "go to" places to meet this need.
Learn your adventure scale. Some people have a high tolerance or desire for adventure while others are lower. Learning what excites me vs what stresses me is really important. When I think of a relaxation time...it is NOT throwing myself into yet another unfamiliar adventure.
Love, kindness, truth, laughter, respect...all people have a desire and need for these qualities to be expressed to them. And at the same time, learn to not expect it back. Not everyone knows how to give it.
Forgiveness is a gift. To forgive yourself for mistakes you WILL make and to forgive others for mistakes (or at least perceived mistakes) that they WILL make.
Have a buddy (or buddies) in the journey. John & I have each other plus other friends that understand us and care about us. We have also learned to make ourselves available to other internationals in our same spot. A sounding board and a hand of support is so vital for us in this journey!