Our holidays were spent with the Ferlands and Dwyers this year and it was a special year. Not only was it Calvin's first Christmas but it was also the last time we would be seeing our family for a while before our move to Sweden. It was definitely a time of mixed emotions, as the holidays often are, and our excitement for our upcoming move was dampened by the sadness of missing our family and friends. We know that this is going to be an excellent adventure but we also fully understand the downsides to moving abroad and the impact it has on everyone.
One major life lesson (and I think it's a good one) that we have learned is that you have to live your own life for yourself. You can't "live scared" and refuse to take chances or hide from hard decisions. We have thoughtfully considered everything, everyone and have made a bold decision that was not easy to make. With every large decision, there is always a nagging doubt in the back of your mind saying, "Who do you think you are? You can't do this. It's too hard. There is too much involved!" But in the end, you have to trust that you know yourself (who was it who said, 'Know thyself' -- smart guy) and you know what will make you happy in the long run. Without any question of a doubt, we know that this will make us very happy. We wouldn't be doing it otherwise.
I would've told you that I would be 100% gung ho about this and chomping at the bit to move abroad. Surprisingly, i've gotten very comfortable here and really love my life in Atlanta. I looked back through some of my travel journals when I was fearlessly roaming through Brunei, Malaysia and China and tried to reconcile my clear and concise advice to future travelers (myself really). In 2006, I wrote, "I've discovered that I've learned the most about myself when I am wholly out of my comfort zone. When everything and everyone around you is foreign, different, and unfamiliar. Only then do you truly discover what you can do and who you are as a person. You grow most when you are outside of the box you have built for yourself."
So, here is to moving outside of the box.