There’s something about traveling that provokes a lot of different emotions. I have loved having the opportunity to immerse in a different culture with my husband (that word still makes me giggle). There’s something about being away that produces a subtle pride. Not the obnoxious “I’m from Texas pride” that I probably had before moving here. Living internationally has put into perspective how small our seemingly big state really is and it’s a great feeling – an ongoing perspective of your own world and the world we live in is important. We have had a lot of people ask if we are going to end up living here permanently. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE NZ…the people are so lovely and the scenery is well, perfect but it’s just not home…ya know? Being absent from Texas makes my heart grow fonder. I love talking to people about where I’m from…”the states, Texas!” I always say with a big smile on my face. I can’t help it, I just love that lone star state. Living here has made me appreciate the little things that we thought were “normal.” BBQ and mexican restaurants on every corner, southern hospitality, tea with ice, creative entrepreneurship, yes sir & yes ma’am, country music, y’all, live music. When I try to explain the city of Austin to people it’s really hard to explain in a couple of sentences the amazing culture and vibe of Austin. While I have loved telling people about my story and my home I have enjoyed learning all about other cultures and even other Americans! I met this adorably sweet 70 year old man that was playing in a basketball league in Australia and him and his wife were traveling in the off season. How cool is that? Even though I sometimes can’t carry on lengthy conversations, it’s still fun to hear different accents and as cheesy as it sounds, it’s really nice to know that a smile can cross any kind of language barrier. (would you like a little wine with that cheese?)
The thing we have really noticed is that basically everyone else in the world loves to travel and soak up different cultures. Americans (not all but a lot!) have the tendency to go to college and jump straight into a career. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing but college isn’t as long here and a lot of people do an “overseas experience” for about a year or longer in a few different countries. The thing with Americans is that we don’t have to travel across the sea to see mountains or the beach. We have it all within our own country AND we usually have about 10 vacation days a year so we aren’t going to spend 2 full days traveling all over the world with the limited amount of days. You aren’t even going to believe how many days they have off here – 28!! Say what? That’s awesome! We wish that America would adopt a more family centered, laid back lifestyle that we have seen here. And the minimum wage – also another thing that should be adopted. =)
The beauty of missing Texas is realizing that everyone has their “home” that they love and adore. Even though the definition of our home has been changing since the day we got married, we know that our hearts belong in Texas but we will leave a piece of it here in NZ! And now I feel like I should sing God Bless America. Ok, maybe I’ll just listen to Carrie Underwood sing it!