Living in another country –  immersed in another culture –   was one of the best experiences of my life.

I often thought I would have majored in International Business and made a life out of it, if I hadknow it’s effect on me.  I went to Mexico in my 30’s.  We lived there for 3 years.  I would have liked to stay longer, but my job was done.

Peach colored flowerWikipedia mentions this about “expatriates” which I find interesting:

In its broadest sense, an expatriate is any person living in a different country from where he is a citizen. In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals sent abroad by their companies, as opposed to locally hired staff (who can also be foreigners). The differentiation found in common usage usually comes down to socio-economic factors, so skilled professionals working in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an ‘immigrant’.

Quite a difference to live in another country sponsored  by a corporation – not just of your own accord.  When we were asked to go to Mexico, we considered that it was one of the safest adventures that we could undertake.  If we didn’t like it – or if anything went wrong – the company would certainly bring us back to the US.

Aside from the wonderful cultural learnings, we also had some of the most satisfying friendships that we’ve ever had.  Twelve couples in a similar situation.  In a foreign place.  Away from other friends and family.  Learning new customs and language.  It created quite a bond between us.

Admittedly, it was a little unusual that I was the working half of our twosome.  In every other case, the wives were staying at home and starting families.  Planning lunch dates and sipping margaretas.  But on weekends, we found true compadres amongst this group.

We’ve long since dispersed throughout the world to other lives, but the memories and connection remains strong.