About the Curly Wanderer

In April of 2015 I moved to my first assignment as an expat woman, Singapore. I now live in yet another country, Thailand, and have no intention of returning to the United States soon. Neither destination has been my choice, but I happily went where my company had an opportunity.

I love living abroad, but I didn’t start here. I didn’t study abroad in university, nor travel abroad much until my 30s. And I was never a backpacker, though I have always been a bit adventurous. I built my career in one country and now at one company for years in a somewhat more traditional manner. But after a series of massive personal stumbles and frustrations I was convinced that I would only be happy pursuing a different and wanderlust-filled life. So I started leaving the US once a year to explore on my holidays. Four years later I blew all my vacation in one round-the-world trip then returned to my company and lobbied for a chance to work abroad. I didn’t set out to become an expat woman in Asia. But I’m not unhappy with how things have worked out.

In addition to the personal changes of moving abroad, my professional career required changes. I work with and manage entire teams of people now who usually do not share my background. Nor do they share many of my preconceptions about the world. And while I am lucky they share my language (since I unfortunately don’t know theirs well), some things simply do not translate. Which is often the cause of hilarity, embarrassment, and an unending test of resilience.

None of this journey has resembled anything close to a straight line. And most days I give up on predicting what I will encounter or experience next. Which is to say that this isn’t the most settled life. But the beauty, the chance to sate my unwavering curiosity, and the constant thriving change more than outweigh the challenges, hassles, and frustrations. I do get homesick. I have never stopped missing my nearest and dearest, nor stopped craving a good lingering drizzle or crisp Autumn day. But I am at my most comfortable out here, outside of what used to be my comfort zone. Contentedly on “the road” for life.

Cheers,

Kate.

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