...we recently had lunch with some good friends who announced that husband's application for foreign assignment had been approved and in a matter of months they would be off to the Far East for three years. Now that's an adventure.
I spent the majority of the meal trying to swallow around the lump in my throat, but aside from the fact that we'll miss them HUGELY, I'm standing in awe of their intrepid bravery. Leaving house and home behind for life in a totally foreign culture takes loads of courage - at least it does in my book (read my last post if you doubt!) I'm left wondering why some people are able to not only embark on such big life changes, but to seek them out willingly? while others have such an innate fear of change that they try to avoid it at any cost?
Upbringing probably contributes, although both these friends are products of a midwestern suburban lifestyle, with stay at home moms and dads who worked 9-to-5. Like us, their lives followed the prescribed route for the baby boomer generation- school, college, job, marriage, home in the suburbs, children.
Exposure to a variety of experiences throughout life also predisposes people to embrace change and new opportunities with a sense of expectation rather than dread. Generationally, young people today are much more likely to have traveled and seen more of the world than people did when I was young. Plus, people who are optimistic about life in general would certainly be more likely to seek out new lifestyles experiences than those who see the world from the "glass half empty" perspective.
Some cultures also place great store on the pioneer spirit, and encourage their citizens to seek opportunities in new areas, to blaze trails where others have feared to tread. Certainly this nation has become a beacon for people from all over the world, a place of promise and hope for a brighter future, often hard won in terms of leaving behind all that's familiar and loved.
I'm bombarded with a multitude of feelings as I contemplate my friends upcoming move and all the change ahead for them. Knowing that it's the fulfillment of a career long dream for them helps mitigate some of the sadness we feel at the loss of their companionship.
And part of me admits to a tiny spark of envy - there is something actually quite appealing about the idea of starting off on this big adventure, just the two of them setting sail across the world much like the westward pioneers of old, but with all the modern conveniences to make the transition so much easier.
Perhaps there's an ounce of gypsy blood in me after all?
Well, probably not.
But it doesn't stop me from wishing them Godspeed and smooth sailing.
Or from counting the days until they come home.
How about you? Are you and adventurer? Or not?