Just over a week ago, I arrived in a new country, ready to begin my first expat journey with my husband and our dog.
Since my arrival, my heart has continually been filled with thankfulness for:
- Our safe travels and that our little family is together again
- Friends and family in the states that were incredibly supportive through our transition
- Virtual friends here that have offered advice and encouragement – they are indeed made of flesh and blood and so welcoming!
- A beautiful new home and modern conveniences that will make the transition a little easier.
We will be living on an expat compound – which I have fondly renamed “Sesame Street.”
These are my First Impressions of Life on “Sesame Street”
- It is a place filled with parents of great vision that are determined to give their children a global understanding of people, geography, culture and history.
- It is a place filled with courageous families that continually adjust to life in different climates, with different customs, with different transportation systems, with different freedoms and different restrictions.
- It is a place where everyone knows your name.
- Where it’s normal to knock on your neighbors door and welcome them to the neighborhood.
- Where doors are frequently left unlocked.
- Where kids play in the streets, leave their bikes on the sidewalks, and play freely throughout the neighborhood.
- It’s a place filled with people of all colors and from all nations.
- And a place of instant camaraderie.
It is also a place where the ideal runs into the real:
- Real humans.
- Real cultural differences.
- Real religious differences.
- Real personality differences.
- Real frustrations.
- Real misunderstandings.
- Real judgments.
- Real hurts.
It’s a place where some people continue to try to make a difference for the greater good and some people sit on the sidelines and complain.
I am struck by the notion that as simple as “Sesame Street” is, if the struggles were magnified, they would accurately represent our world.
Will you share some of the choices you are making today?
- How can you seek first to understand?
- How do you know you are learning and growing?
- How can you model the behavior you would like to see in others?
- How can you engage others to leave their comfort zones and get involved?
Image credit: The Nomadic Writer