Living outside the borders of your home is a lot like coloring outside the lines when you were a child. You try and try to conform, to stay inside the lines, to not become frustrated, but sometimes you slip and there's nothing that can erase the slip of the crayon.
You try and try again and eventually gain more control of that waxy stick with the paper wrapping until you are convinced you can do it the next time without coloring outside the lines.
Living outside the lines is a similar experience. You start out everyday trying to live without making any mistakes -- cultural mistakes. A word used or pronounced incorrectly and the next thing you know you're pulling up in front of the grocery store (La Antorcha) instead of the furniture store (Atocha). You end up wishing someone a "Happy -- nasty body part" instead of birthday -- that pesky ñ will get you if you're not careful. (Cumpleaños vs. Cumpleano).
Then there are the differences in everyday life -- the hair salon doesn't do things just as you've been used to all your life or nothing is as strict as your personal clock when it comes to punctuality.
In time you begin to accept these things or you find work-arounds so you can continue to live within your own personal lines when it comes to those things that are all important to you. But the beauty of it all is that you learn to live outside the lines as well. Those once narrow borders are now wider and you live with a more open mind and acceptance of those things that left you unstrung -- set your frustration meter off and that inner voice that would say, "Remind me, WHY did I move here?!" is not heard nearly as often.
The picture is beautiful and those excess scribbles become part of the art of living outside the borders you were so used to.
Life in a culture unlike your own becomes the "norm" and when you move back "home," you find that while it appears everything has changed, nothing at home has changed, its you who have done the changing which for me, has always been a good thing.
I invite you to come along with me during this leg of my expat life in Honduras. This is the 4th country I've lived in and just as with the others, there is something new to see or do or learn every day. No day is EVER boring. Please leave comments and join me on my FrantasticTravels Facebook page so we can grow this conversation. If you've ever lived outside the lines or wish to live far from your current borders, FrantasticTravels will be your community to come and share and contribute. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
Hasta Luego, Mi Amigos!