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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do You Ever Get The Urge To Move Far Away?

by MAB (bio)

About six months ago we moved from stormy Seattle to stormy Amsterdam (Holland).

So what's different here? Well for starters I frequently substitute Speculoos for peanut butter on PBJs or I just eat it straight from the jar. It has a strange power over me. I ride my bike to work every day alongside half the other residents - this burns off some of the Speculoos calories. Nearly everyone else is on a bus, tram or train. When the natives speak it sounds like they are clearing their throat before, during and after each sentence. The architecture and the canals are amazing in this city founded hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Americas. Everything is different here, either subtly or drastically.

It’s complicated trying to explain why we wanted to move and in the process, leave behind our good friends and family. I think my mission in Central America has something to do with it. The experience of being in a new culture and gaining a different perspective on life made me want to do it again. I also want my kids to have the experience, which is partly why they are in a public Dutch school instead of the private International schools. The culture shock has not been easy for any of us, but I think it will be a worthwhile experience as we learn many, many things about ourselves and others.

When we broke the news about our move to our friends and family, most were supportive. A few, however, were perplexed as to why we would ever want to do such a thing. So that made me wonder why some people want to live outside their native country but others do not. I know it's complicated if you think about the details, but generally speaking, I wonder what makes a person a homebody vs. a wanderlust. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with people who want to stay put; in fact, moving your family halfway across the world is stressful and a little insane.

Do you have the urge to live outside your native country? Why or why not?

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