Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where's Waldo?

As I write, the music students with whom I am traveling are reflecting on their week: the things they've heard, seen, experienced and thought. So, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on this impromptu trip to Brussels, and coming back to Europe. Ever since living in France for a year when I was 15, I've often contemplated where I wanted to live in the world, never coming to any firm conclusions, and certainly never thinking that living in India would be a possibility. Maybe I'm destined to be a world wanderer. I sure hope Chad doesn't mind!

Now that we are so close to having our own children with us, I think about it even more. Is India the place where we want to stay? We live in such a great community, have wonderful friends, have an excellent support system, live more comfortably than we would almost anywhere else in the world. But, the flip side to that list has many detractors that make me want to pack up our babies and go. Traveling to Europe always makes me want to move there... that is until I talk to the music teacher from Luxembourg, who told me that a one-bedroom apartment there costs upwards of $300,000. Yikes!

Then, there is the difficulty of being so far from our families. That weighs into the decision about where to live as well.

But, as I think about this very worldly group of students, and their experiences living all over the world, I think of the immense learning opportunities they've had, and also how they must have had to depend on their families throughout every move, adjustment and transition. On Wednesday evening, when I left Delhi, I was staying with 16 juniors and seniors in high school who were saying goodbye to their parents. I have to say that the affection they showed their parents was surprising. More than a few 17-year-old boys unabashedly initiated public displays of affection with their moms and dads. You can tell that among many expat families, the bond between parent and child is strong. And, the child ends up having a strong sense of independence and self. 

So, now, I'm going to put my teacher hat on and have us play a familial game of Where's Waldo. If work and money were no option, where would you choose to raise your children? Why? 


  1. Hawaii. But I am sure there are some wonderful places out there. But having experienced an amazing childhood and now adulthood here I am convinced that for us, this would be the best place. And I have to say, the affection you described from you students to their parents was something I related to...I felt the same way when I left my parents on a trip for even a few days.

    Loved the post...and hope Belgium is treating you well! Take care and travel safe back to India.

  2. First, may I just say I have a secret literary crush on Waldo. I mean, great sense of style, always cheerful, and I love how he plays hard to get. :)

    Second, for me, I'm not sure location matters as far as where I choose to call home. If I am with the people I love the most, we can make "any place" home. I do love Colorado, and I am a California girl at heart, but I think I could be happy in so many places as long as I have my family and friends.

    Great post! I love thought provoking posts!


  3. I agree... great post. As a "world wanderer" myself, I certainly identify with your dilemma. From my years of travel and living all over the world, I think I've decided in my old age that there really is no one perfect place. Just as you find both good and bad aspects of living in India, I can say the same for Brazil, the U.S., Europe etc. What's important I think is what you expose yourself and your children to. Even if you stay in India, your kids have to know there's a great big world out there and exposing them to as much as you can will make them better for it IMHO. My partner and I are starting down the road to surrogacy in India and are watching your progress closely... enjoy Europe!

  4. Honestly, I would like to live kind of like a nomad and travel around without settling in one place for longer than a few years at a time. The good thing about where we live right now is that the cost of living is so low, it allows us to travel pretty much every year. We try to take a big trip every 5 years and on the in between years, we go to smaller destinations. Harris is looking at jobs in different states right now, but we've got no plans to make an international move at this point. I have yet to see everyplace on Earth; how can I choose just one?

    Hope Belgium was wonderful! Did you bring home diamonds or chocolate from over there???

  5. My family has lived in the states and overseas. We have lived in Niger, Egypt, and India and I must say that from my perspective and my children's we feel very grateful for the opportunity to have lived is overseas. It was very important to my children to go "home" to Oregon every summer and re-enter a differently reality with their extended family. They are definitely "Third Culture Kids" and there are some challenges when they move on to college, but we all believe that the experience has helped shaped them into the remarkable humans they are now. It is true you can make a home where ever you wish, but if you have a choice and you are asking me....I vote for the your current path....Love you both!