Yesterday I was counting the minutes for my husband to come back from work. I was so excited that I needed to tell him everything about my day. Nothing exceptional had happened, and yet I was shaken by that special thrill we expat feel when a day is filled with discoveries, people, new contacts and stimulating talks.
I had been invited to a group discussion on the challenges of adaptation when relocating to a new country (something I always love to sink my teeth into) and I arrived at the meeting point expecting a wide group of people sitting around a table and chatting lively. Instead I was welcomed by a lovely French-Indonesian couple, that was later joined by a fascinating French lady who has been living in Jakarta for almost twenty years. The couple itself had a strong record: after meeting abroad and living elsewhere, they had been back to Indonesia for ten years. Besides, they are both coaches and intercultural trainers, so the discussion that followed was absolutely fascinating.
Very generously, they shared views and facts on Indonesia, and we exchanged opinions on the coaching profession, the adaptation phases, hot topics like divorce abroad, career for trailing partners and cultural comfort for TCKs. More than once I stopped thinking how absolutely lucky I am, and how one of the many positive points of relocating is the thrilling feeling you have during the first few months, when everything is new and whenever you find ways to cast a bit of light on your new surroundings. I am also grateful to this kind of life because it gives me chances to discuss interesting and lively topics – I seriously wonder, were I a sedentary person in the same country for years, where would I regularly find opportunities to feed my brain with such interesting and stimulating material?
I also love the feeling of anticipation I get when I urgently need to share my discoveries with my husband – this is something we have done in all the countries we lived in, though in different homes: getting together at the end of the day, having an aperitif and sharing our respective stories. I guess all couples in the world do it, but I doubt many find themselves talking about the Kris or the degree of corruption of the place they live in at the end of the day.
I know there are many hard moments when relocating to a new country, but today I just feel like celebrating this opportunity which continues to fill my life with meaning and happiness.