Like most international communities, people are very transient. One day you see them and the next their gone. No, not dead necessarily but perhaps off to the next international destination or maybe back home. Well, with the transient mood in most places comes complacency and the blindness of the reality of the community around them. I see it all the time, especially with Caucasian population here in Uganda. They find comfort in their homes, international school communities, expat frequented pubs, markets and restaurants. I know this for a fact and I ask myself, “Why the hell did you come to another place if you want to stay around people who only look like you?” You are in Africa for God sakes!
Of course, no one will be completely frank about this decision to stay around their “own” in an international community but in my honest opinion, it is a comfort of a familiar face or an environment that best represents where they feel like they belong. When I lived in the UAE, this happened to me. I found myself primary hanging with other single, African American moms whose kids had the same interests as my own. If it wasn’t for a dear friend of mine last year here in Uganda, I would of ended up in that same trap of mundane comfort, whether it was surrounded by other foreigners or the four corners of my school provided apartment.
I’m a Cancer and if you follow the zodiac personality traits, you’d know that we resemble that of a crab hidden away most naturally in its shell. So, believe it or not, it takes a lot for me to get out of that zone that’s all too “safe” for me. Isn’t that the point of travel? I mean, aren’t we supposed to go out of our way to discover new places, people and things. Aren’t we supposed to figure out what makes us smile, cringe or fall in love all over again. Not just with a man but with life and the love of travel…or just being free.
Today, I did a little searching online and found out about so many hidden nooks and travel opportunities in Uganda. I’m a nature buff so going to the country side is my muse. It comforts me and brings me some sort of serene peace. I didn’t realize how much I loved nature. Uganda is perfect for that nature scene that you’re probably dying to see as well. It’s like who wouldn’t want to connect with nature, animals and the like. They don’t have a care in the world and for once, it would be nice to have the same sentiments.
So if you’re like me, I leave you with these 3 points that will hopefully propel you and your family to another level of boldness in your international zone. We all need a push and a reminder every now and then about how great we are.
- Plan a totally random trip to a place at least 1 hour away from your comfort grounds.
- This will do wonders for your boldness. You’ll learn that taking this leap will pry your eyes open to the new wonders and hidden gems deeply secured in your international community.
- Make an effort to get to know more people in and around your community.
- Now, I’ve probably spoken about this before at some point on this blog because it’s so easy to become a hermit in your world…hey bed even. Sooo, come on now…do you want to be known for traveling and living in other parts of the world with no real and meaningful contacts to keep in contact with well after your adventure zone is completed?
- Figure out where your expertise is needed.
- Now, don’t be showy about it. Use your talents and gifts to help leverage your awareness and need in the community that you live in. You will be surprised how your writing skills, business acumen and other know-how’s will help you discover a new neighbor, random “in-need” person or another creative network around you because you never know where you’ll be in high demand. When you feel that you matter, you’ll want to show up and show out! Get it!
If anyone knows about international living, it’s me…and well quite a few other folks as well. What I can tell you is you can’t do this alone, hunny. No, I tell you! Living internationally is a beast in its own. If your life resembles the liking of mine, a single mom, you know that family is everything. Not having my family consistently around me has been one of the biggest sacrifices to date. In the meantime, I had to learn that seclusion can’t become the norm when you’re alone. I don’t care how much you think its okay…its not. You need people for sanity purposes. You need to feel alive, well and accounted for. Without people around you, how can you thrive? Overall, your time, attention and impact is needed. Don’t be afraid to speak out, try something new, be adventurous and get yourself out there! You are there for a reason, probably very temporarily so make every moment count!