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  • Writer's picturejamieedelbrock

20 Things I've Learned While Living Overseas

Growing up, I thought that I would never leave the town I grew up in. I wasn't a fan of change, and I liked being comfortable. However, when life gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, I jumped. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Since then, I've moved all around the country, I've moved across the country, and I now live across the world from my hometown. Each move had its ups and downs. Every town had its own unique beauty within the atmosphere and within the people. Each friend became a teacher with cherished lifelong lessons. Some of those lessons came with tears, most with laughter, but all with growth. That's the point of stepping out of your comfort zone, right? Growth. All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience. - Henry Miller Now that I've lived overseas for one year, I thought I would celebrate by sharing what I've learned over the past 365 days. My hope is that it inspires you to step out of your comfort zone - even when it's hard. 20 Things I've Learned While Living Overseas

1. Change is complex and has many different levels. The most profound change feels exactly like heartbreak. It's ok to take time to grieve. 2. There is magnificent life beyond the bubble of America. 3. Adjusting is difficult, but things always fall into place. 4. Spice is actually nice. 5. Learning another language is complicated - and sometimes embarrassing - but smiles, laughter, tears, and hugs are universal.

6. Embracing new culture cultivates great perspective.

7. Always say yes to adventure, even if your heart races and your knees shake.

8. Patience, grace, and empathy are key as your kids acclimate.

9. Clean water, dishwashers, and fresh air are precious gifts.

10. Sometimes bug zappers are essential indoor house accessories.

11. Contentment is the heart of peace.

12. Kindness always wins.

13. Even the best hair product won't protect your hair from humidity. French braids, cute headbands, and simple hair ties are musts.

14. Sweat happens. Invest in good deodorant. 15. If you hold too tight to the gift of what was, you won't be able to accept the gift of what is.

16. When it rains, it pours. Literally and figuratively.

17. There is no such thing as too much sunscreen or too much bug spray - unless it gets in your eye. 18. Make beautiful moments with the people that are with you now. Accept early on that friends come and go, but the memories that shaped you stay forever.

19. Going with the flow will get you where you want to go, but finding away through the flow will get you there faster. In traffic and in life!

20. Growth means change. Change is good.


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