Sunday, May 29, 2011

What no one tells you about living in another country

I try to keep things light and cheery over here on my slice of the internet, but I opted to share these particular thoughts because I think I think they provide more of a full picture. I am not unhappy in Haiti. I do not desire to move back to the United States. I just need to share some things that don't often get said.

  • Living in another culture is hard. All the things you rarely think about in your own culture--greeting people, acceptable attire for public, knowing who to tip, smiling for pictures--suddenly require conscious thought. You have to remember new customs, force yourself through the uncomfortableness, and evaluate personal behaviors and habits that may need to change in order to fit into the new culture. There are constant reminders that you are an outsider. Eventually the novelty and excitement of being in a foreign country wear off. 
  • If you don't speak the language of the people, there will be times you will feel inadequate, overly dependent on others, extremely frustrated, and sometimes ridiculous. You may decide to go without something rather than deal with the hassle it takes to communicate what you want. Sometimes it's just easier that way. There will even be nights you cry yourself to sleep because of the language barrier.
  • Once you've called more than one place "home," your heart will never be completely happy in either. When you're in one place, you miss the other. You feel guilty for not being full hhere, for longing for the other place. People in both locations question your desire to live in or visit the other place.


  1. When you leave home for another home, it isn't the same. But, it happens many times in our life times.

    Someday, we will be Home with our Lord & Savior!

  2. We love you, Brit! Thank you for sharing the good and the not so good. It helps us know how to pray for you.