Friday, August 28, 2009

what I left behind

We are in Kuwait. We traveled a total of twenty-nine hours to get here and only at one point - boarding the plane from Frankfurt to Kuwait - did I think What are we doing? We were boarding on the tarmac and I was walking up the steps with Claire in one arm and a bag flung over my shoulder and the woman in front of me wore an abaya. Not until that moment did I really absorb how totally foriegn this new culture would be to me. Neither Justin nor I had time this summer to get nervous or worry the thousand worries that tag along with any big change. But on the steps up that last plane to our new home, I thought Why didn't we just buy a house like everyone else?

I remember before we moved to Colombia, I looked at our friends and family buying their houses and I couldn't imagine wanting that. Not yet. Someday. But even then, it might be on the side of a mountain or dominoed in a townhouse. I looked at buying a house the same way a comfortable bachelor looks at marriage and kids: eh, nice, but not for me.

What I really thought was that a house would trap us. No getting out after you lay that downpayment down; no getting out after you sign up for a thirty year mortgage. (Not so. Since moving abroad, we've met several people who have sold or rent their houses while overseas).

But on those steps up, I almost wished Justin and I were back in some comfortable neighborhood happily accumulating stuff to box and label in our basement storage. I guess that sounds snarky. I don't mean it that way. Just that this time, going abroad was a tiring journey. When we were on our way to Colombia, I thought things like Finally and Free and Yea! On our way to Kuwait, I thought things like I hope she isn't poopy and If I fall asleep we'll be robbed blind (while Justin snored with his mouth hanging open, limbs sprawled over a plastic airport chair) and Still another two hours!?

But you know, we made it. We're putting out life here together. And even after just over a week in Kuwait, that house (and yard and closet full of shoes) isn't quite as vivid as that moment of doubt up the steps of our plane bound for Kuwait.


Joie said...

Thanks for writing this- that's how travelling gets sometimes. Last year when we returned here, it was a very very tired journey that took us about 48 hours to get from my mom's house back to our house... and it ended with the introduction of epilepsy into our lives. It's sometimes hard to get your head around why you're doing what you're doing and what is it you're REALLY after, I think. But I hope you guys can really enjoy this new adventure. Our first trip here to India was when Will was 9 months old, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what it might be like for you making such a big move with Claire. Maybe especially because of that, I can't wait to hear more about what your life is like in Kuwait and to see pictures! Thanks again for writing.

The Chapples said...

Wow, I can't even imagine! You guys are brave and I say that with much admiration.

N.D. said...

It's pretty cool that you are doing this and traveling. You'll have the rest of your life to have a house and all that if you decide to.

DC Running Mama said...

Either way has no more meaning...setting up roots or swinging from the's all what you believe in. You believe in broadening your horizons, being a citizen of the world. This doesn't mean that there won't be times when you want the others. We all have that yin and yang in us, I believe. You just chose to be among the smaller population that chose one over the other. This being said, I think having children does make one appreciate the space a house allows. But, just think, conveniences like storage are nice, but they certainly don't provide the variety of life you will encounter living abroad!

Angela and David Kidd said...

I am so excited to read about your experiences in Kuwait. And I agree you guys are brave and I also say that with admiration. I would have certainly freaked out between flights.

Clare said...

hope you are settling in ok! i'm curious about all the details like where you're living, where you grocery shop, etc! and i liked dcrunningmama's yin and yang comment. i wish things weren't so permanent sometimes too, we have the mortgage and it just gets too comfy to pack up even though i itch for adventure sometimes (just itch for comfort of the known more i guess!).