Let me sum it up as best I can with one liners and short statements:
Swamp-ass, the struggle is real.
Our family motto of 'Try new things' was put to the test with unrecognizable sea creatures and insects. We made it back to the USA without any parasites that we know of....winning!
Kids don't care if you are in paradise, they are going to act like kids and do stuff like leave wet bathing suits on the floor of 5 star resorts. Get carsick into your lap in the back of a taxi. Pee their pants on the metro. And surprise you with bravery you knew they had, but had yet to show the world!
You can pick Americans out of a crowd anywhere in the world, this is both alarming and comforting.
The best ways to adsorb another culture is through their food and to get off the beaten path. These are also the best ways to get sick and robbed. Totally worth the gamble!
God will put the people you need in your life, right in front of you, no matter where in the world you are.
We (our family) were stared at.... a lot. So much so that when we got back stateside we all kind of missed it. I can only imagine what they must of been thinking...
In preparation for this post I thought back on what a non-military friend said to me. She was marveling at the places my life has taken me and asked "are your kids just so excited to get to lead such an adventurous life?". My answer was simple... no. They have nothing else to compare it to. All their needs are met and most of their wants. Life moves forward no matter where 'home' is. There is always laundry to be done and meals to be made. Plus they are selfish and ungrateful beings...
And to make my point I recently asked Curly (who is 12 now) what she missed most about our time living in Asia. Anticipating her answer to be somewhere between snorkeling in the ocean off the coast of Cebu in the Philippines to riding an elephant through the jungle in Phuket, Thailand or maybe closer to home, navigating the open street markets of Seoul. She answered "walking to Burger King with my friends".
Someday, when my kids learn the price of anything they will understand the sacrifice, hard work, time and planning it took to cart them around the globe to expose them to life outside the norm....
Or not. Either way, Mr LbF and I had a blast! Pics below to prove it.
Seoul and family that made the trip to see us
First moment captured after our journey to Seoul
Re-enactment, last day in Seoul!