Saturday, June 16, 2012

An Unexpected Journey

A year ago today, I left home and set out to spend an indefinite amount of time living abroad for the purpose of studying and general character building.  I came here because I felt that I needed to grow up.   I came here because I didn't want my three years of foreign language study to go to waste.  I came here to make myself more marketable for jobs in the future.  Most of all, I came here because I believed then as I do now, in my heart of hearts that God was leading me here.

When I first arrived, I did a fairly good job of keeping a travel journal.  Here are some excerpts:

June 18, 2011
"Right now I am sitting in the common area of the hostel in hopes of meeting some of my neighbors, but it's only 8:22 in the morning, so most of them are just now getting ready for the day.  It's interesting to me how quickly I become an introvert when I'm out of my comfort zone.  Hopefully, it won't take me too long to adjust.
"I've already been in contact with my family and a few friends from back home, but talking to them has only emphasized the fact that I need to start working on my life here.  Part of living in the present moment - I've come to realize - is living in your present environment.  Internet offers an easy escape from that, but time zones do not.
"So, that is my resolution for today: Live in the here and now."

June 23, 2011
"Interviewing for jobs in a foreign country is scary.  It's not scary for the same reasons as when one applies for a job at home (e.g. will they like me? will I get the job? etc.) although those elements are certainly present.  The biggest fear, for me, comes when the time arrives to make a decision.   Will I accept this job and sign a contract to stay here for a year?  A year.  365 days.  365 days until I can see my family again.  What a crazy arrangement.
"Granted, it isn't entirely unlike going away for school.  Still, it seems so permanent.  365 days.  How will I ever bear the separation?"


Well, good news, folks!  I did bear it.  I bore it and then I came to find ways to make things betters.  I have made so many wonderful friends here.  I have learned so much about myself and about this extraordinary country and the many different kinds of people who live here.  And now that a year has passed, my eyes are once again turned towards home.

My dear friends and family, both here and there, thank you so very much for your love, kindness, support, joy, and consolation.  Now, no matter where I am in the world, I will always be missing someone because my loved ones are everywhere.  Thank you all for an incredible year!


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that you came to Taiwan. It has been a great joy knowing you and even in this short time you have gained so much confidence that I'm sure will be noticeable to everyone when you return home. With love, Michael <3

Therese said...

Thanks, Michael! <3