Starting Over

Square one, once again. Entering a country for the first time means starting all over. What’s the currency? What’s the exchange rate? Where do I shop? What areas are safe? What is unique about this culture? What do I wear? How do I cook? How do I get around town? Where in the heck is anything?

I am in Peru with my husband and children. A sabbatical year. A dream come true. But it’s not going to be easy; growth and fulfillment follow challenge. The 3 weeks of Spanish lessons I had in Guatemala only nine short months ago is totally forgotten. I sat in my second day of language school today, with “deer in headlight” expressions as my tutor asked me the most basic conversation starters. I was embarrassed and frustrated. I felt the same in the grocery store as I shopped for food that I have any clue how to cook.

My eyes and emotions are already filled as we walk around this amazing 16th century city which was the capitol and spiritual center of the Inca Empire. I can’t wait to learn the history and significance of the land and the people. And I’m already afraid that our 3 months in Peru and 6 months in Ecuador will pass in the blink of an eye.

Square one is not such a bad position to be in. There is no such thing as boring. Every day holds a new adventure. Being ignorant is humbling (we could all use a good dose of humility.) And most of all, being a global student with my kids – experiencing and learning together – is a precious way to spend this year. It is ever clear to me, at this point in my life,  that the most significant contribution I can make as a global citizen, is to teach, love and support my wonderful sons as they explore the facets of meaningful living.

Follow our family sabbatical at

About Carrie Wagner

Author, Photographer, Speaker, Educator
This entry was posted in Adventure, Crossing Cultures, Global Citizenship, Global Education, Sabbatical Year. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Starting Over

  1. Fredrick says:

    What my eyes read tingles me nicely and Iam happy for the amazing sabbatical year abroad. May you all be blessed. Cheers. Fredrick ,Univ.of Surrey, UK

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