Day 9 Is my theme what I should be exploring?
Maybe I'm meant to be here and not go anywhere else, literally and figuratively.
My theme questions how I got here and where I’m going.
Perhaps everything I've done up to this point makes this the perfect place and perfect job for me.
Why didn't I find this "calling" sooner?
I truly do not believe I could have reported accurately and comprehensively before I got to this place at this time in my life.
And how did I end up here?
That voyage is twofold. It is a journey through travel, as well as a passage of time and experience.
My wonderful traveling days and living overseas and in various places in the U.S. have given me a broad outlook on life and being a human being that I do not think I would have if I had stayed in one place my whole life.
I actually feel sorry for a friend who has never traveled but once or twice to a city about 100 miles away from our small town. She has spent the rest of her 50 plus years right here, with no experiences outside of this insular culture. How truly sad to have never known anything but here. She has no worldview and believes only what she has been taught to believe.
Travel opens one's eyes, especially if that travel involves living in a country with a different mindset and culture.
When we, my husband and I and our two young daughters, moved to Borneo, I had a honeymoon with the place right after we got there. Being driven from the airport, which consisted of a thatched roofed hut with dirt floor, through the palm trees and greenery that reminded me of my childhood home, I loved the place. We drove into a gated compound and were taken to our first temporary home.
Within a few weeks, we moved into a fully furnished house right across the street. It had three bedrooms, so our daughters each had their own bedroom. We lived there for five years.
Because our personal goods, other than the 21 suitcases we had arrived with, would take six months to arrive, we were given a "survival kit" of cooking utensils, dishes for four and bedding.
What an adventure! Another couple from Canada had arrived about the same time and had daughters near in age to ours. We became fast friends quickly and when we had one another over for lunch or dinner, we had to bring our own plates and utensils.
The compound housed the company's workers, including Indonesians, Americans, Canadians, British, Australians, and a few from India, Thailand, Germany and probably a couple of other nationalities.
I think my first shock was going to the commissary. Tiny, smaller than most gas station stores, it had limited supplies. So, I had to create interesting dishes using what was available. For my second shock, I went to the downtown market – a vast, dark labyrinth of rickety stalls, reeking of rotten fruit and dead fish.
By this time, I had acquired a maid—who stayed with us our five years—a Christian woman in a predominantly Muslim country. She led me through it and negotiated prices for me. I took our daughters with us. Never again. The older one is a brunette. No one bothered her, but the very fair-skinned redhead had her cheeks, facial and rear, pinched and she was grabbed and hugged. She never again returned to the market.
So many things to learn, so many things to experience and I reveled in most of them. Yes, we had challenges, but we surmounted all of them. Our daughters thrived in the expatriate school, made friends and grew up resilient.
I traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, sometimes with family, sometimes with other expat wives.
That's the travel and experience-broadening part of my journey. The time portion brought me new skills, not only in more languages to learn but also in developing my photographic skills, computer skills, writing and teaching skills.
Could I have done reporting before I learned all these skills? Could I have been at ease with people of all nationalities, cultures, opinions and thoughts without this experience? I don't think so.
Perhaps I'm where I belong and don't need to search for my next "favorite" job.
I would love comments on this one. Should I keep exploring where I'm going or be content where I am?
P.S. I never stop learning!