Don’t get the wrong idea! I do love being home for the summer. Thing is, during these last few years in international teaching I seem to have fallen out of orbit with just about everyone I know back home, that is, except for my retired parents. Friends get married, buy houses, have kids, celebrate birthdays and holidays, adopt a pet or two, and pursue corporate careers. Time and distance away take a toll on any relationship.
To some extent, I sense that friends and siblings wonder if maybe I’ve adopted International Education as a way to postpone “getting serious” about life. Mortgages, car payments, outrageous insurance premiums, tight schedules, drudgingly boring routines and the stress everyone seems to be experiencing fit well into what I consider the “getting serious” category. So, to answer that postponement question, I would say avoidance wasn’t my main intention but is certainly one of the many perks of International Education. Yes, I am planning to make a career of this!
I also notice a bit of disconnect when we are together. I talk about adventures at Angkor Wat, Buddhist temples in Thailand, and things like scuba diving the tropical waters of Sri Lanka. After all, that’s been my life these past years. On the other hand, the trials and tribulations of climbing the corporate ladder, or tales of jumping through hoop after endless hoop to get a house refinanced is not of much interest to me. Still, I listen, just as they listen to me, because we do care about each other.
So where does this leave us? Bottom line: I have a history with those back home which runs deeper than the verbiage we use to relate our daily experiences. It’s our inner substance, that unspeakable something that brought us together in the first place that counts. That has not changed. And with that in mind, we’re continuing to make new memories on a tried-and-trusted foundation. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye again, I know.
ISR asks: Do YOU have experiences or revelations to Share about YOUR summer at home?
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