02 August 2017

"Because the plane is very fast, but the soul takes longer to arrive."

Lord, you know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. 
You know everything I do.
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 
~ Psalm 139:2-5 (New Living Translation)

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"Home is where there are people who know stories about you."
~ Joshua Racey, TCK (Third-Culture Kid)

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I just spent a wonderful 5.5 months in the US, thoroughly enjoying time with family and friends! It was fabulous in so, so many ways and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

However, flying and living across the world - in an equally number of ways - is not easy.

Shifting from one culture to another is not easy.

However, it's a necessity for someone like me who has two 'homes' in two vastly different parts of the world. This is a brief collection of thoughts on the subject. Perhaps it will enlighten you a bit.

Ready to check-in at JFK, for my return flight to Kenya

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The Fine Line Between Expat Chaos and Rhythm
by Jerry Jones

It’s exhausting being “home”. To be honest the whole life overseas thing can feel equally chaotic at its most settled points.

BUT I’m learning there is such a fine line between chaos and rhythm. We have found our rhythm and in some confusing way a part of our stability IS the movement.

If that makes no sense at all, congratulations, you might be normal. If it does make sense, you’re probably living a life overseas.

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How to Give Yourself Grace: Advice to someone returning from a long journey!
by Robynn

When we return to our beloved places, we are confused and our souls are unsettled. We knew a particular way and then we became used to a different way and now we’re back to the old way.

You can anticipate some cultural confusion. We are confused; our souls are unsettled. We are whiplashed from culture to culture and can expect to be out of whack.

Try not to rush back in. Breathe deeply and move slowly. Go ahead and do the next thing on your list but don’t hurry. Your poor body has been around the world and back again.

Let your soul catch up and come home slowly!

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"First you arrive physically and you are very tired.
But only after a while, your soul gets here, too.
Because the plane is very fast, but the soul takes longer to arrive."
~ Nilson Tuwe Huni Kui, 
when he first flew from his remote village in the Amazon rain forest to New York City, 2013

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Culture Shock: When Your Soul Takes Longer to Arrive
by Marilyn

There are a lot of moments that transpire between goodbye and hello. We have high expectations for ourselves and expect to jump right into life, to pick up as though we are unchanged, to tell ourselves “it’s no big deal, I’m back now”.

But when our souls are still a world away, we can’t fully connect.

We need time and we need grace.

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