So, we are getting closer to our tentative departure date, about 2 months to go. And although we are really excited, I have to admit to having some mixed feelings about the entire move. After sitting down as a family to talk about it, I discovered that we are all feeling this way. It is a strange thing to feel pulled in such opposite directions. I mean, I am absolutely thrilled about our plans to travel the world with our kids for the next few years but I guess some of it is a little scary for all of us. We know everything will be fine because we have made a huge jump like this before when we moved to Costa Rica and the positive changes from living abroad have been immeasurable, but the worries are hard to push aside some days.
We all seem to be focused on different things. My husband and I are not too worried, rather concerned about how everyone will do with the languages and overall cultural differences. We are used to living in a foreign country, but our first stop, Thailand, will bring a new type of challenge, tonal language, completely different culture, and big cities.
There is also having to leave the amazing community of friends that we have built up over the last 5 years. I believe that this is where I am having the hardest time personally. It won't be holding me back from travel but it sure is something that elicits sadness from time to time. In the end, my husband and I know that there has been a bit of stagnation in our lives here over the past year or so. We both feel very strongly that for ourselves and for the kids personal growth it is time to move on. One of the reasons we left the US to begin with was due to this feeling that our personal growth had severely slowed in relation to being in the US. Although we know that personal growth happens all the time, we find ourselves in a similar situation, where in relation to us being in Costa Rica, our growth as individuals and as a family has stagnated.
The kids really go back and forth with it all. It seems to be hardest on my oldest son, who is referred to as Supertramp in this blog. He is 12. For him, more then for the little guys, the connections to our community are quite strong and he is really feeling the tug at his heart when thinking about leaving. He also is struggling with the loss of his pets, as are all our children. Interesting that the things we worry about they do not seem concerned with in the least. The smaller boys don't really seem fazed by all this at all, aside from already begging us to get a pet elephant in Asia, and feeling sad when we say that is not happening. Worrying doesn't seem to be in their nature.
So what do you tell yourself, and what do you tell your kids to help alleviate some of the anxiety about it all? Well, we tell them often that learning to cope in a foreign situation is one of the best ways to overcome fears and insecurities. We explain that we will make new friends to add to our ever growing list of people throughout the world that care about us. We also remind them (and ourselves) that if we had never taken the leap to move to Costa Rica, we would have never even met the terrific people that we are expecting to miss so much. Life is about the journey, we say!
At the end of the day, we know we will miss people and we know there will be some challenges in our future, yet we now understand that's how we grow as people. There will be challenges and we will have these mixed emotions, but at the end of it all I can only see positive for ourselves and our family as a whole. Stepping outside of our comfort zone is when we will truly take in the world and learn the most from what is around us. Our complacency has run its course and adventure is ahead. It will be quite a journey, be sure to stay tuned!
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