A Morning of Eavesdropping and the Invitation that Follows

I am sitting in Second Cup. I am in my hometown. It is a good morning.

An old man caught me observing him and his friend at the table across from me. They have their newspapers out now, but they have been chatting away in Romanian, he told me. To my right, there is a girl skyping in rapid Spanish. There is a murmur of English in the background but it is indistinguishable.

I like the languages. And yes, it brings me back to Mongolia. I cannot understand the conversations around me at all, and at the moment, it’s cozily comforting.

A similar time I was people-watching in UlaanBaatar

To anyone else in this coffee shop today, I likely look like a non-descript college student, occupied with social media and my phone, quietly drinking my drink, a backpack crammed with books and cords beside me. But though I’m drinking coffee on the outside, I’m observing Columbian culture and exploring the streets of Romania on the inside. I’m back in Mongolia, making up conversations of the people at the table beside me.

I’m not sure if I miss it. I’m not sure how I feel, if I were to be honest. I only know it makes me think of Mongolia. I’m across the world again.
This is Re-entry.

It’s been a while since I posted. Most blogs end here. The Adventure is over, you might say. The newsletters stop. We quietly slip back into “normal life” and continue on, implementing things we’ve learned from our overseas experience into our next step in life and we all live happily ever after.

Good for us. Or at least, something like that.

But I’ve been thinking: Have you ever gone on the journey with someone AFTER they return? I never have… but I’m about to.

The story doesn’t end.
At least not here, not now.

And so, now that I see this I invite you. Come with me. See what happens After The Experience. I can’t guarantee excitement, or neatness, or consistency (in fact probably quite the opposite) but I’m putting it out there.

Join me. Perhaps we’ll see a more stories yet.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I would think you would be missing the people & children that impacted you the most on ‘The Experience’, although everyone impacts your life somehow, if they’re in it. It wasn’t your first taste if experiecing the world & I don’t believe it will be the last. Wherever you go & whatever you do, will always be interesting & inspiring. Enjoy your friends & the rest of your summer. Keep writing & sharing! 🙂

  2. Shawn Bird says:

    We have a saying in Rotary, “Once an exchange student, always an exchange student.” If I am in a room, exchange students find me, whether they know I was one or not. At school, they sit in my room to discuss ‘life’ in the surreal bubble that is an exchange year. They write when they’re home, about the strange dream that the year becomes in memory. We are tied by the experience, because we all feel disconnected and connected. Lost and found. Happy and sad. We leave pieces of our heart behind in these places that become our second homes, and we never get them back. Hopefully those we love and leave behind, cherish them for the precious parts of ourselves that they are. Sometimes we are blessed with an opportunity to hold those people against our hearts again, but most we will never touch again. It is a bitter sweet reality of those who live and love abroad.

    Welcome home, Anna. Welcome to life with pieces missing. We just go on.

    Take care, dear girl.

  3. Margaret Peters says:

    Keep writing, Anna, life is always an adventure!

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