Expat life...living in a nation that is not your home nation...can feel like traveling a very windy and steep roadway that takes you along an amazing scenic adventure. The AR 23 Highway affectionately known as the "Pig Trail" is one of those examples. (click here to take a 2 minute ride)
2 years ago we began this ride on our Pig Trail of living in Asia. We had lived a very full life for over 50 years in a nation we love and where our families are planted. We had lived an "American life" like any other "American". Over the years, electricity is a normal part of life; using the water from the tap is not a major question; owning a car is a passage of life into adulthood; having plenty of private space and large homes is a normal part of daily life for many people; English is the primary language that is known and used; hot water heaters for the whole home is just normal; having central air and heat is just normal; and the list could go on!! When we stepped into life in an Asian nation...our world was turned a new direction....like one of those 90 or 180 degree turns that can be on those windy pig trail roads. And though the road can seem kind of scary at times, it can have some amazing views!
We stepped into this adventure in our mid and late 50's. (John actually turned 60 our first year in Thailand.) Some people can think "wow! what a daring move" OR "wow...whatever possessed you to do such a thing!!" Well, yes the move was daring in many ways, but we moved forward with great courage and faith in the call to leave the "known" and move into the "unknown". People are people no matter what nation or culture, and that was our focus, people! The heart needs are the same in every nation no matter what culture they are clothed in.
So...are we some special case? NO!! There are many others making this type of bold change after YEARS of being entrenched in the American culture and richness. If you find yourself traveling on the major interstate of American life thinking about taking that exit off for AR 23, the Pig Trail, know you can do it and it will be an amazing ride!
We have found that support and information are huge aids as you navigate the curves. They become like the road signs that warn you of the roadway ahead and advise you the speed to use in navigating the curves. One of the purposes of this BLOG is to provide a hand of support and a bit of insight for those looking at or living the Expat Life. If we can do this, so can you! As long as that is the direction your heart compass is pointed...the Expat Life. Every month we will share nuggets & pictures from our journey.
Some upcoming topics...Leaving here--Living there (A Holistic Approach for the Change)
That Thing Called Culture Shock---I call it the Polar Bear Plunge
Language--A Wall and A Door
Looking for the Familiar
Creating Your "Little America"
Value of Friendships and Connections (Here and There)
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.