“So what’s a typical day look like for you?”
I was caught off guard. The innocent inquirer wasn’t trying to stump me or give me a pop quiz. She was genuinely intrigued about my life abroad and was simply curious as to what my typical day looked like.
I knew my day in a city with millions of people on the opposite side of the world looked vastly different than her typical day in the suburbs of the U.S.A. Yet, I couldn’t think of anything. My life abroad had become full of so many “new normals,” I didn’t know what to say to her.
“Well, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, so it carries a lot of the same day-to-day duties as mom here in the States. Except, more sweating, more rats, awful traffic…” I stopped myself. No one likes a rambler. “So yeah, same but different.”
“Oh, I hate bad traffic,” the lady responded. “Atlanta is the worst.”
I let out a heavy sigh (in my head, of course…out loud would have been rude). No, not like Atlanta. The traffic there is so neat and organized. Why was I so bad at communicating what a typical day looked like for me?
Sometimes I feel like I sell myself short and other times I feel like I’m giving way too many details about dumping a dead rat out of my trash can. Then there are the things I’ve totally numbed myself to and hardly notice anymore. A visiting friend once told me, “You need to take a picture of the trail of ants you constantly have in your house. It’s crazy.”
The ants? Oh yeah…the ants. I forgot about those…
The inquisitive minds of others and the often asked question, “What’s life like,” is what inspired this 31-day series. We asked 31 expats to document a day in their life, even the details that seemed mundane or boring. The end result? A wonderful, real, raw, beautiful series of pictures documenting the world through the eyes of lifelong learners.
As I clicked through the photos from (literally) around the globe, I was touched by the common thread that weaves through the lives of all expats. Even though the languages, foods, sites and smells which fill our days sometimes vary greatly, we all have found normal in the unusual. We wake each day, raise our children, go to work, struggle through language, embrace new rhythms and stretch our worldview until we feel it may burst.
While we take this tour around the world together, I hope that you will be encouraged as you see the lives of other expats. As you look into their homes, streets and beautiful landscapes, I hope you can look at your own surroundings with a new sense of thankfulness. There is something extraordinary in being part of a global community. I hope our comradery as expats and our small online community will continue to grow as we take a moment to experience each other’s lives, even if it’s only via the lens of our cameras.
A link to this post will be available on the sidebar as we continue to update it with the direct links to each stop in our travels. We’ll see you here tomorrow. Same time, same place. No passport needed (which means no immigration lines, yay!)
Find other expat stories and share your expat photos using #thisgloballife on Instagram.
Day 2: Thailand
Day 7: The USA
Day 22: Ghana
Day 27: India
Day 30: Rural China
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- This Global Life Series | 31 Countries, 31 Expats, One Day in Their Life - September 30, 2016