Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mi familia en Espana....

My brother and family are taking on the world - literally. I am so proud of them and know that they have worked hard, sacrificed much and planned for this move to Spain. However, with great privileges come many challenges and they are just at the beginning of a wonderful adventure. After the honeymoon period, reality will set in.......and then it's time to learn to adapt in a new land, a new language and with new rules. It's difficult, yet it is so very exciting to begin life in a new country. I love this quote:
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell, Author
To leave the past behind, and to open ourselves up to the potential in the future takes great courage and determination. It requires the rare ability to truly adapt to new situations, to step WAY out of our comfort zone and to create a new "normal" for ourselves. As hurdles are overcome, the benefits and the rewards are tremendous!! As a family with young children, they will be teaching flexibility, adaptability, life skills and the ability to relate to a wide range of people. We live in a global society where the world is getting flatter and smaller (The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman), so what a privilege that they are giving to little Sylvia and Savanna!!

As they make this transition, I'd like to share some things that we have learned through our many moves:
1. Embrace the differences of life in your new country. As Americans, we do things well, but we have much to learn from other countries. Becoming a multi-cultural citizen requires that you take the best of all worlds and make it your own.
2. Keep your sense of humor! There will be times that you can either laugh or cry - Always choose to laugh!
3. Communicate - Communicate - Communicate! Moving is tough. The more you talk, the easier you deal with the stresses of life in another country and the challenges of moving. Your best "compadre" is the one that is sharing the experience with you.
4. Travel and enjoy!! Be a visitor as well as a resident and take the time to explore and learn your new land together.
5. Study the language seriously....and don't stop till you "dream" in Spanish!!
6. Keep the memories - Don't forget to take pictures and write about your experiences, both good and bad. Writing about them can be therapeutic and allows others to share your life.
7. Keep in touch! Call, email, blog, write, visit facebook and send pictures.......Soon your network will span the globe.
8. Keep things in perspective.....Don't stress over the little things. Just say - Today, is a "SPAIN" day...........
9. Be Like a Duck - For some reason, moving can make us tougher on the outside and more tender on the inside. Be like a duck ....and let it all roll off!!
10. Remember that God has a plan and a purpose....."The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deut 31:8
As you embark on this journey, may God bless you and protect you as you learn to live a new life in Spain. Our prayers, our thoughts and our love go with you. Vaya con Dios!

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