The Expat Diaries: Renewal

Last weekend I experienced what every expat needs from time to time- renewal. As expats, we live for the moments that make it all worth it. These moments may not make up for all the missed hugs, laughter, the Christmases, the birth of a niece, the little brother’s graduation, or even the good-ol family arguments… but they still remind you of why you are here. Why you are doing this…
…why you put up with finishing your morning run only to realize you won’t have running water to shower in for a few hours; why you worry about not having a decent hospital if god forbid your toddler gets malaria or cracks open her head; why you can’t enjoy your favorite meal or run to Target just because; why you can’t call your best girlfriend over to cuddle with or cry on when the world seems unfair…
These moments don’t happen everyday. Sometimes they’re few and far between. But when they come, they’re like a wave of energy washing over you. The light is switched back on. The “life bar” is recharged.
I experienced this renewal last weekend. I spent some time in the mountains. I hiked to a waterfall and swam in a chilly stream. That, right there, was all I really needed. I would have been perfectly content if we turned around right after and made the four hour drive back home. But that’s not where it ended. The next day we wandered through the savanna. We saw wild elephants, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, hippos, and even lions. I kept asking myself, “Is this really happening?” And I’m glad it was.
These moments left me with a fresh perspective and a new appreciation for Africa.
They reminded me of why I’m an expat.

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