Travelling overseas is a fantastic way of putting your own life in perspective. Moving countries semi-permanently – from Australia to the UK – has certainly pointed out to me many things of which I take no notice on a daily basis.
For instance, I say 'overseas' when I mean 'international'. Not everyone's country is surrounded by water. For me, travelling means planes and passports. Here in Europe, people can drive to a dozen other countries with just an ID card. That's pretty cool.
|Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland|
Here in northern England? Do that at your peril. I wear what I call 'winter clothes' pretty much all year round. It's the thing I'm most looking forward to about going home next month: proper, honest-to-god WARMTH. Sorry, Northumberland, but you just don't have that here. I'll be able to throw away those vitamin D pills. Yay!
The other thing? Crowds. In Australia, we might not realise it, but we have loads of room. The rest of the world is a crowded place. Whatever you're doing, be it driving, shopping, eating out or just walking in the street – you're always in someone else's way. It's quite a shock.
I've had a lovely time in England, and the people are so friendly. I'm going to miss it! But when people here say to me 'You're not from around here, are you?' and I say, 'No' – I say it with a little warm fuzzy feeling of pride – but also with gratitude, for all the things we take for granted that other people just don't have. And with a twinge of sadness, because it's lovely here and soon I'll have to leave.
But I have to admit that when I get home, to my big house in its quiet street, and that stinking hot Aussie summer – I'm leaving for home in a few weeks, did I mention that?? – I'll be feeling pretty good. I've got much to be thankful for.
So what everyday things are you thankful for in your part of the world?