The lessons I’ve learned 

We’re not leaving yet. We still don’t know when. (This is, at least partly, why I haven’t written!) But with a good friend leaving today (sob sob sob), I’ve been thinking and reflecting. I’ve thought about just how much we have to do before we go. I’ve thought about saying goodbye to friends and acquaintances, some of whom I will most likely never see again. I’ve thought about how our life has changed, and I’ve thought about what I’ve learned. 

Living in a new country is a real teacher. You learn from being displaced. You learn from the people you meet and the different cultures you encounter. You learn from doing hard stuff away from your support network. If you travel with a partner or family, you learn from how they react. As with any huge and uprooting life change, you just keep on learning.

And so I present, in no particular order, ten things our Brunei adventure has taught me:

  1. That I need to be outdoors, and I need to walk. And if I don’t find a way to do it, I won’t be a happy camper.
  2. That South Indian breakfast foods are amazing, and that we are really limiting ourselves if we stick to cereal and toast and fruit and eggs for the first meal of the day.
  3. That The Engineer and I make a great team, but that even great teams get stretched when they try to do everything themselves.
  4. That productivity isn’t always the best goal, and that “unproductive” time can provide great lessons.
  5. That mangoes can be delicious, but papaya is still not for me.
  6. That the internet is a truly amazing tool and can provide greater support than I ever imagined in so many different ways. 
  7. That geckos chirp.
  8. That fancy resorts/hotels are not entirely boring, especially with a toddler. I’m even warming to the idea of a cruise.
  9. That I really enjoy and miss my work.
  10. That sweetened condensed milk in coffee is pretty much the greatest. 

Coffee condensed milk

Coffee with condensed milk/Galaxy computer sleeve/Photo by me