Moving can be exciting, heart wrenching, scary, and disorienting but to some people it is normal. I am in the exciting/disorienting group. It really doesn’t matter if you move across the state, across the country, or to the other side of the world. Leaving the comfort of what is normal for what is different sometimes is better and sometimes is not. A new place can be exciting; new people, new foods, new sites to see, things to do, new words and maybe a whole new language. But a new place is also absent of the things we know and the absence of the known takes a bit of adjusting.
We get comfortable in our lives. We know where to get most of what we need and how to avoid traffic getting there. We can even order without a menu at our favorite restaurant. (Tampiquena chicken for Scott at Mi Rancho please.) If you close your eyes you can probably find your way through your house, get a glass or a cup from the kitchen cabinet, or find your socks in their drawer. Knowing my surroundings makes me feel safe and confident. Take that away and I find myself a bit disoriented and less confident in doing everyday things. Here I cannot find the hangers I want. After several trips I have found ones that will make due but I know EXACTLY where they are at Walmart and I don’t even like shopping there!
I think we are meant to always move forward and learn new things and I am finding that our adjusting is moving along at a rapid rate. We no longer grab for the camera every time we see a family of four on a motorcycle with one of the kids fast asleep. That is no longer uncommon. It is just how things are. It is not strange to use bottled water to brush our teeth. It is the reality of everyday life. Buying groceries in the lower floor of the mall and carrying them home is regular now too. We have not lost our wonder at our new home but we are settling in and becoming comfortable with some of what amazed us at the beginning.
Being here has also introduced me to the other side of the move. For some people it is their normal. There are many people that I have met that have spent a great deal of their married or adult life as ex-pats. Some grew up in this lifestyle as children and have continued to live like this. Pick up and move? New city? New culture? This seems to be second nature and they handle it all with such confidence. Of course returning to “home” after this can seem as scary to them as coming here was for us. In the end there is no best, no right, no way it should be, no definition of normal. Life for all of us is just a series of changes that we adapt to as best as we can. We must keep moving forward and do it all with a smile on our faces and joy in our hearts because the world is full of wonder and as we adjust we grow and that is always an exciting thing.