Let’s Hear it for the Boy | Week 8 Abroad

Expat Family living in Korea travel abroad journal

When life gives you lemons, how will you react?

We were pretty nervous before leaving the United States on our extended trip. We were excited for the adventures we knew lay ahead, but nervous about some of the logistics of carrying out such a unique voyage with a child.

We met with two different families who had each traveled long-term with their children for advice. They each gave indispensable advice and support, but one said something in particular that really struck a chord with me.

She told us that whatever strengths or weaknesses we have as a family will be magnified when we’re travelling.

Leaving all of our friends, family, comforts and familiarity behind while constantly trying to adjust to new things will really show our true colors. If we fight a lot, we will fight more. If we support a lot, we will become even more supportive.

That made me a little nervous. Who knows how we’ll react if something goes wrong?

This past week really tried me. The week before had been very emotional with towering highs and sweeping lows, and I just didn’t have the emotional reserve for another crazy week.

There were only a few points worth mentioning that led to my exhausting week; nothing as exciting as the week before.

 

Expat Family living in Korea travel abroad journal

 

First, I made a business deal with a local salon and was told by many experienced people afterwards that I had been scammed. I felt really sick over the thought that a deal I went into with integrity and delivered on whole-heartedly had not been taken seriously by the other party, and had to reconcile the fact that I will have more experiences where I’m held to a higher standard or taken advantage of because local businesses know I’m a foreigner from the United States.

I hold myself and the people around me to a really high moral standard, so this is a frustrating and confusing realization to have. I don’t like it, but I know I have to accept it.

Second, my oldest sister became engaged and has decided to marry a man she loves very quickly. I fully support her and am excited to hear that she’s so happy, but the fast turnaround means I won’t be able to attend her wedding. I want her to do what’s best for her and her family and I’m glad she’s moving forward in love, but I’m still sad to be missing out on an important moment in my family’s history.

These things have occupied my mind daily, and left me a bit of a questioning mess.

I spent the week wandering through the grocery store, not able to decide on any particular item to buy. I had no opinion about how to spend our days. My conversational skills were seriously lacking whenever we were around other people. I nestled into my shell.

As I fell Ben rose. He took care of almost everything at home, spent afternoons with Whit so I could be alone, and treated me with incredible loyalty, understanding, and kindness.

As Ben showed me patience and love I developed a deeper appreciation for him. I become more dedicated to helping him and our family as I see their acceptance of me, and we continue this cycle of support I know we’ll need to rely on even more in the future.

 

 

We’ve only just begun our journey and I’m positive more trials lay in our future, but I’m so grateful that when faced with our first issues the underlying trait Ben displayed was so positive!

I realize we really do travel well as a family. We agree on a lot of things and have a singular mindset with our goals, and we are also starting to understand the unique challenges and strengths of each other.

 

 

We’re currently struggling to decide where (and when) to head after Korea, but I’m feeling so good about the trip. We are learning so much every day and growing closer and closer that I know we can handle anything!