Sunday, 17 October 2010

Scottish MacNicols

According to Wikipedia, an expatriate is "a person temporarily or permanently residing in country or culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence." Expatriate - also known as "ex-pat."

When Scott accepted the job in Scotland, people often asked how long it would be. His contract is open ended but we always replied "3 to 5 years." This was a stab in the dark really. We had/have no idea how long we'd live abroad.

It's been three years. Three years of THIS adventure. Three years of learning, stretching, settling, expanding, laughing, crying, and LIVING.

And it has flown by.

This has been an experience of a lifetime. It has not been without challenges but we are definitely better for the opportunity. We have made life long friends, we have learned to jump in feet first, we have become flexible in a way that is only afforded to you when you move out of every comfort zone, and we have learned to rely on one another. We are closer as a family than we were 3 years ago. And for that, we are truly grateful.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." ~ Helen Keller

The other night during dinner, we asked 4 questions about our experience and here are the answers:

Things we've learned while living abroad:
  • Even though the Scots speak English, it's a whole different culture!
  • The weather is rubbish, but you just get on with it
  • Try new food, or go hungry
  • Flexibility
  • Value experience vs. things
  • I can go anywhere in the world and make friends ~ people are people
  • It's fun and interesting to learn about other people and their day to day
  • Our worldview has matured

Things we love about Scotland:
  • Skate parks
  • Being able to travel more
  • Countryside 10 minutes from our door
  • The people and their humour
  • Artistic culture
  • Kinder to the environment than we were in Texas
  • Organic Farming - accessibility of local meat, dairy, fish and produce! EAT LOCAL.
  • Amazing School
  • City living - lots to do
  • Appreciation of the US from a different perspective
  • Fencing, rugby, tennis, European football, cricket
  • Wellies
  • Country Parks
  • Brilliant scenery around every bend
  • Old Architecture

Things we find quirky about Scotland:
  • Glaswegian accents
  • New slang
  • Swearing
  • Banking
  • Football that leads to crime
  • Really bad radio
  • European Appliances - especially lack of a disposal
  • Lack of interest in creature comforts
  • Stereotypical British Food - Yuk

Things we miss in the USA:
  • Family and friends
  • Missy
  • Mexican Food
  • Sunshine
  • More space
  • Baseball and American Football
  • BBQ in shorts and t-shirt, not woolly knickers
  • Customer service
  • Convenience
As you can see, it has been quite a ride. Thank you for encouraging us and for coming along on the journey with us! Blessings flow.

"A man who carries a cat by his tail learns something he can learn in no other way." ~ Mark Twain

"Life must be understood backwards; must be lived forward." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

***Disclaimer: Get a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of wine; this slide show is ridiculously long. It was hard to edit 3 fabulous years into something manageable. We do not expect you to watch but wanted to preserve the memories for the boys.

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