If the name of my shiny new blog sounds a little wistful, it’s because I miss – deeply, achingly, knife-in-the-guts miss – my expat days. Not everything about them, of course – I don’t miss weeping in frustration because the taxi dispatcher, who obviously doesn’t have time to decipher my woefully inadequate French, has hung up on me. I don’t miss the scornful head-to-toe glance of the 85-pound Singaporean sales clerk as she dismissively tells me, “I don’t think we carry anything in your size.” And I certainly don’t miss the steady stream of goodbyes that are the sad reality of this peripatetic lifestyle.
But oh, how I miss that sense of discovery and wonder, when everything – even the most mundane tasks – gave off an intoxicating whiff of the exotic. I miss the constant thrumming in my brain as I absorbed and made sense (or not!) of the relentless onslaught of stimuli; I could practically feel my synapses firing and my neural network growing. More than anything, I miss the gratitude that came with the astonishing realization that I was actually living an interesting life.
It’s that feeling of engagement, of making full use of all my senses, of learning and growing and becoming, that I want to revisit here. And, okay – I also want to tell all my stories to people who haven’t heard them before. The glazed-eyes thing does get a little tiring after a while.