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Monday, December 6, 2010

Where Are You From?

"Where are you from?"

It's such an ordinary question.

It's right up there with, "what do you do?".

All my life, however, my answer has been rather complicated.

As a response, "I was born in Texas, but grew up overseas" is rarely satisfactory. I think it's the word: overseas. It sounds so exotic.

And it is.

Sort of.

The inquirer, if they want to know more, usually follows up with,"military brat?"

"No."

"Peace Corps?"

"No, my parents worked in American-International schools and I lived all over."

This reply is typically faced with one of two reactions:

1) A simple "oh", due to lack of time and/or interest.

Or

2) "Oh, where?"

Usually it's 2) and then I list all the places I've lived; Karachi, Pakistan, Banjul, The Gambia in West Africa and Maracaibo, Venezuela.

It's an impressive list, if I do say so myself. What's even more impressive is that my parents continued to live and work aboard for another 18 years in four other countries (Somalia, Mozambique, Myanmar and Tunisia) after I returned to the states to attend college.

The 11 years (ages 7 - 17) I spent as an expat had its ups and downs, but for the most part was exciting, educational and a lot of fun. And I knew no different.

Every place I lived was coastal, so I grew to love the water. English was predominately spoken and my friends were mostly European, many of which I am still close with. I was exposed to more people, food, culture, customs, political beliefs and poverty than many of my American counterparts ever would be. I have had six passports, still have the travel bug and enjoy exploring outside the U.S. at least once a year. Luckily, I married someone with that same need and together, we want to show Lucas as many places around the globe as we can.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to experience so much world travel and at such a young age, but there really is no place like the good ole US of A.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Natalie said...

I think it's awesome all of the places you've lived. I've lived in the same place my entire life & am jealous of everywhere you've been.

December 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Midwestern Mama Holly said...

I get that here ( in Ohio ) when I start talking.. Im from the South ( Florida ) and while I dont think I have an accent, apparently to those living here in Hooterville I do. I start talking and they give me the deer in the headlights look and say the same thing every time... "You're not from around here, are you?"

December 6, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

This question will forever and always annoy me. Guess it has gotten better since college days but I still sometimes would rather just lie and say Arizona.

December 8, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

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