The first time I visited another country, as an adult, I was shocked by the ease and pace of daily life. I was overseas for a specific purpose, but it was the most rested I had been. The group I was with would all joke how Africa is on their own time. If a car was scheduled to come at 8 am to pick us up, we could be ready by 9 am and still be early. My American brain had a hard time adjusting at first. All I could think was “I am only here a short while, I need to go go go, do do do”. My mentality changed during the second week of being there (it really didn’t have a choice…it had to change) when I saw the fun and experiences that I could have without planning. Our group would travel to small, remote villages in the mountains of Rwanda where I was the first Caucasian that many of the children there had seen. I was amazed how those small villages would stop all they were doing and come visit with us. They wanted to fully appreciate the new experiences of that day…no matter what. I was reminded of all this at 7 am when the sunlight woke me up and my mind started racing with all that I wanted to accomplish and do today. An automatic “go” feeling consumed me where if I didn’t get up that moment, I would feel behind for the remainder of the day. Instead of giving in to that mentality, I chose to roll over and snuggle with Jason for another hour or so. And as the day has unfolded, that cuddle time has been the highlight and a source of joy. Although I haven’t been able to cross everything off my list, all I can think about is how fun today has been.
So thank you unscheduled Africa for reminding me that there is so much joy and beauty in everyday that I often miss by being so rigid about time and lists.
Thank you other countries for being the example that life is meant to be lived for every moment
Thank you Jason for reminding me that a day is never “wasted” if you are spending it with other people