Tuesday, July 17, 2012



We arrived in Yangon about three months ago. Belongings showed up six weeks later. Unpacking: nearly complete. Yet, we are still arriving. We're new. And I think we'll be arriving for a long, long time. As long as it takes until this feels like home. Or as much like home as possible.  (Currently, my daughter doesn't think it will ever feel that way.)

We've moved around quite a lot, but this is the first overseas move with our child and that makes being an expat this time around different. And, new. Everything about the move feels new. Everything about Myanmar is new. And, when seen through our child's eyes, it just adds another dimension to...yes...new.

Every week, however, being here feels more comfortable. I know which supermarkets I can buy western food from. I know directions, the roads, to places we drive most frequently.  Learning exactly which street sells beautiful, ornate, artistic ceramic pots was a small victory that felt monumental. My daughter has developed friendships. I've progressed from holding play dates that only involve children and nannies, to play dates where the moms stick around, too. (Thank god.)  Now I've made friends. Significance: not underestimated. 

I know that friendships make or break living somewhere. Without friends, the kind of loneliness that you can choke on creeps up your spine.  Been there. Done that.  Not this time around though. I've learned through all my shifting around, that I must initiate friendships, put myself out there.  This is only a new lesson.

Thankfully there is a great gmail group in Yangon for expats. I've invited people to join a book club or have play dates (moms required).  I've met a friend this way (she's lovely) and have been invited to join a book club. Through initiating play dates, I've met wonderful moms who don't have nannies (like us). We drink tea and coffee while our kids play. Have meals. Break bread. This is the stuff friendships are founded on.

It's the stuff that brings peace of mind, too. Don't think I'll ever have the type of peace that the pictured Buddha has, but I don't have loneliness clawing at my throat. To me, that truly is a monumental victory when adjusting to expat life, moving 7,500 miles from all things familiar.


  1. Reading this made me really sad but happy for you at the same time. Your so brave for taking on so many adventures and showing Freya the world. But the ache for home is overwhelming sometimes. I couldn't imagine leaving my home and family even for all the adventures of the world. I sort of live thru hearing about yours though which is good though for this coward :) I miss having you close even if I didn't see much of you before you left. Just remember that home is always going to be here waiting for you.

    -Jessica G (idk how to change my google acct name yet! Lol)

  2. Jessica, thank you for your comment. It's true what you said, "the ache for home is overwhelming sometimes." It can be, for sure. I think I'm naturally a homey type person, so shifting around just doesn't come super easily. Still, as you said, we're lucky to have adventures and see places. My biggest hope is that this will help shape Freya's perspective of the world in a positive way; I'm hoping that when we move back to small town USA, that she will remember the world is a big place, and not to put people in boxes. And to have compassion.

    I miss being home + I wish we could go sit and have a coffee. It will happen, though. ;) Lots of love to you!!

  3. sarted a blog. i came to yours to see how you started out.. any advice?


Messages that are negative or mean or hurtful or political will be deleted; so play nice. This is meant to be a happy place. :-)