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Monday, March 28, 2011

Living outside the USA

Living as an US expat somewhere in the world outside the US is both exciting and challenging. The exciting part is experiencing a new culture, learning a new language, and learning how to interact with people coming from all over the world. Since December 2008, Claire and I have experienced these dynamics first in Wesseling Germany (Jan 09 - Aug 10) and in Santa Ana Costa Rica (Sept 10-present). Our lives have been changed forever by these experiences. The difficulties of living abroad are real and include cost of living adjustments, establishing offical residency, learning how to get around without an automobile etc. Frustrations are a part of the adjustments, and learning how to just relax and let things take a natural course is a part of the learning curve. The first six months are the most difficult, since everything is new, ways of doing things like paying bills are different etc. But gradually life settles into a predictable routine and new things start making sense. At that point the real enjoyment of living abroad kicks in and life becomes an exciting adventure just about every day. That has certainly been our experience both in Europe and in Central America.

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