Tonight we did dinner with Diane and Martin and had a wonderful time talking about all types of things going on in life. One of the things I appreciate about spending time with them is their willingness to speak very openly about cultural differences between our countries. In those conversations there are many times when someone mentions “not that either way is good or bad, they’re just different.” Throughout the dialogue there is nothing but respect for each other and learning more about our cultures.
Throughout the past week we’ve had many great discussions with the boys about the differences between the US and Australia. These have included positive and negative on each side and we’ve answered all of their questions very honestly and openly. It’s been interesting hearing their thoughts and ideas. There’ve been some very interesting insights into their brain patterns.
As I think back through my first trip to Australia and this trip it’s also been interesting to see some differences between different regions. Throw in visits to several other countries and states and it’s been so interesting to see how each culture interacts slightly differently. Each has a handful of things unique to them while most have several underlying similarities so almost all others.
One of the things I enjoy the most of each vacation is a doing a duo of quick thought exercises. “Would I rather live here than where I live, why and why not?” Is the first question I ask myself. I push myself to answer both sides of the coin to fully think through what it is I appreciate and why. The second set of questions is, “What is one piece of the culture I’d like to take with me back home, why is that important, and how can I live it back home?” Sometimes the answers are quite eye opening to helping me learn more about myself.
Long story short, Belize reminded me of the importance of simplicity and not needing “stuff.” Australia has helped me find some ways to keep myself relaxed as opposed to being constantly stressed. Who knows, maybe there’s a future story / article / book to be written about each of those thought experiments 😉
What I’m also so grateful for is the opportunity to help the boys have many of these experiences at a relatively early age. They’re both at the ages where there finding their true north and I firmly believe they are fortunate to have a deep well of experience to go back to. In the case of other I could see them at least studying abroad for a while. These experiences will help mold them and help them create their thoughts and opinions of what they feel is right or best for them. The more experiences we can present them the more options they know are available. I’m so thankful we’ve elected to bring them along on so many of our adventures like this!
At the end of the day all cultures seem to have the same end goal – to live a joyful life. They all attempt to get there in different ways. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn from many of them to help me find my path.