Milestone moments have never been a major thing for me (Amber). It doesn’t cross my mind to commemorate special events, to pause and remember a moment, let alone celebrate one. For whatever reason though, a few mornings ago as I was getting Daxon ready for school, it clicked in my head: “we’ve been here for nearly 6 months!”. In that moment I felt the overwhelming need to mark it, to celebrate it and to reflect on it. I told the kids that this Friday (today) would be 6 months that we’ve lived in Thailand and I asked them how we should celebrate. They both exclaimed that we should go out for dinner as a family. Clearly they have inherited Matthew’s celebratory genes and not mine! So that is what we are doing tonight. The kids even picked the restaurant (no, not McDonald’s).
As I reflect on 6 months:
- I’m amazed at how much Thai we have learned in such a short time. Now I can’t help but compare to how long it took to learn Polish. Thai certainly isn’t “easy”, but it’s easier than Polish, that’s for sure! I feel incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in a few short months.
- I’m grateful for how comfortable I feel in our new city. Matthew and I have always dreamed of living in a big city, and I have to say, we love it! There is constant noise, traffic and smog but that is all worth it for the hustle and bustle of lives being lived, so much to see and explore, all kinds of different people and an energy that we find life-giving. Cities shape culture. We see great value in being part of city-life.
- I thoroughly enjoy where we live. I have to be honest – I was a little concerned in that first month we were here. We were living in an apartment-hotel with only a deck and zero place for our kids to play outside. We had previously been living on the campus of Summit Pacific College; which is green, forested and beautiful. Our kids spent their days running freely outside. So a concrete jungle was going to be a dramatic shift for all of us. We now have an apartment to call home that checks all the boxes for our kids. They have a great outdoor space here where they can run and play, ride scooters and bikes, climb trees, run in the grass and spend time with friends. Perhaps most importantly, they’re safe. They’re protected from the traffic on the big road that runs by our place, we have a guard who looks out for them, and we can see them from our balcony. Go out and play little ones!
- I’m grateful for the Imagine Thailand team that we’ve come to work alongside. From a mix of places around the UK, Thailand and Canada, we’ve been brought together to serve the people of Thailand and each other. This team has helped to make our transition to Thailand such a positive one. They’ve helped us practically with visas and the immigration process, with finding the best place for noodles and to buy fruit, with setting up bank accounts, with mobile phones, putting us in contact with a great rental agent…the list goes on and on.
- Our kids have adjusted so well. Daxon is such a creature of routine and thankfully school started just two weeks after we moved here. He immediately made a great group of buddies and they have been a joy in his world ever since. We are so pleased with the school he is attending and have had such a positive experience with all of his teachers, classmates, and their parents. Zala is eagerly anticipating starting school this coming August and we have no doubts that she too will thrive. Zala is our “go with the flow” kid, and she has rolled with all of this. She is happy to play, to help cook meals, to simply play pretend, and to come on taxi adventures to and from school with Matthew and I each day.
This list could just keep going, but these are the things at the top of my mental pile. I am grateful to be on this journey with Matthew and our sweet kids. I can’t imagine it with anyone else. I am grateful for our friends the Wylie’s who are here alongside us working towards the same goal. I’m grateful for two sets of parents who send us willingly, with full love, support, and willingness to travel. I’m grateful for Sisters-in-law and Brothers-in-law, Aunts and Uncles who go the extra mile to continue to pour into our kids. I’m grateful for each and every visitor who has come for a day, a night, or even just a meal – you help make our house a home.
6 MONTHS!!! It’s a big deal. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months brings!