If you never try, you will never know…

Back in 2002 we got a chance and we took it.
We made our first move outside our comfort zone…
We had to say goodbye to our hometown Amsterdam,
leaving our beloved family and friends behind,
taking with us the only grandchild (at that time) of both families,
selling our house which was our first home together,
and I had to leave a job I really liked…
We did all of this, even though we didn’t know what was waiting for us
on the other side of the ocean…
We moved to Houston, a big city in Texas, USA.
The Lone Star state…. different from the rest of the country.
The people we met referred to themselves as Texans first, Americans second.
It was a whole different world for us,
far away from everything we had ever known…
Yes, it was also a Western country like The Netherlands,
but they are worlds apart if you are really living there…
It starts with greeting people… 
Yes, you also give someone a hand if you just met, but what to do 
when you get to know someone a bit better?
No more 3 kisses when you greet that person, as we do in Holland…
We were introduced to the American way…. The Hug…and since that time I hug (almost) everyone! 
Love me some hugging!
We were used to things being small, smaller, smallest…
In Texas everything is big, bigger, biggest… 
From houses to meals, from cars to distances,
it was all new and different….
But we had to adjust to the way people lived there and we did… and we loved living there.
We loved the people and the weather and the American way of living…. we took it all in.
We mixed and matched the Dutch and American ways together and for two years we enjoyed 
the whole experience of trying something new.
Why am I telling you this?
Because if the opportunity is there 
to move you outside your comfort zone…
to live life in another country or another city…
to have a positive life changing experience,
my advise is to go for it…
No, it will not be easy all the way, every day….
And believe me when I say, 
moving countries is not for the faint hearted…
But it will be worth doing it.
You just have to make the best of what you have, at that moment in your life.
If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade…
that is the saying right?
I like to say this though: 
Don’t forget to add your own sugar and spice,
so you can enjoy the transitions that comes with a big move like this.
Because you will need to add sugar with the lemonade to ease out the sour,
(positive things to compensate the negative ones).
And the spice is the flavour you already have, the one you always carry with you from your home country…
Your own traditions, your own humour, your own language, your own food…
(I always had a suitcase filled with Albert Heyn products, the number one Dutch supermarket).
So yes, mix your own sugar and spice together with the flavours of your new country…
And you will see that your lemonade will taste a whole lot better.
To read about a family making their own lemonade,
visit the new Blog of the Week, 
Her blog is one of my daily reads and I know many of you are already reading along with her,
but for the ones who don’t know her yet, have a drink, make yourself comfortable
and start reading. Just click on the link or the photo on the right side.
The one with her Autumn boots on the beach… In Kasey’s own words:
Who said that wearing Autumn boots on the beach instead of slippers {flip flops} can’t be done?”
Kasey and her family are people after my own heart. 
Like us, it was the job that made them move, to another part of the USA.
And last year when they stood for a big decision, they choose to live life….
Buick Style.
See you soon!

7 thoughts on “If you never try, you will never know…

  1. Loree

    This post is great. My husband is American and I had moved to live in St Louis for a year. Our job situation was not the best, I could not get a job and my husband was laid off 3 times in a year. So we moved back to tiny Malta. But sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we were still there.
    BTW I will try to fix the email thing this weekend.

  2. helen tilston

    Hello Maureen
    You have summed up your move to another country beautifully with the analogy of making lemonade. It is so true always remember your spice and sugar.
    I have lived in several countries and it is one of the best experiences. My lesson to myself, make friends with the locals, the ex pats have a much different attitude. For me(living in Florida), meeting Floridians, rather than people who relocated to Florida, made a huge difference in my perspective and love for the state. I see the state through their eyes which are full of passion and love for their place of birth.

    I like Kasey’s blog.

    Helen xx

  3. Blondie's Journal

    Great post, Maureen! I had no idea you had lived in Texas! Do you ever miss it? I have never been there. I have heard that everything is bigger!

    I love Kasey’s blog…she is so funny and confident. Very lovable.

    Have a great weekend, my friend!


  4. Francesca Muir

    Love this Maureen – I moved from a successful career in film and TV in Sydney ( where I might add, I was burning out fast) to go and live on a Greek island – Crete. It was THE best things I could have ever done. It was hard, I didn’t know the language, did not always get paid, but I had a ball and I knew I was alive every single minute of every single day of the seven years I lived there. Best of all I shared it with so many family and friends as they all visited – and regularly which was wonderful. I actually saw more of them, and shared more quality time with them living there than I did when we all lived in the same country! Ahh such sweet memories. Francesca

  5. T's Daily Treasures

    I like your analogies. :) When I first moved to Kuwait 17 years ago, I was so excited about everything around me, a different way of life, and enjoyed trying all the new to me foods, too. During the first 5 years though, I had some family members around me who were not good for the soul — once I realized that and insisted that we move to another area, I was able to be me again and was much happier. I will never like Kuwait, but it’s where I’m at and its afforded me many opportunities I would not have had if I stayed in the States my whole life. :) Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend. Tammy


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