me in my Oakton, Virginia house at Christmas 2009

April 11, 2012: I have become a nomad, a pilgrim, a vagabond, a wanderer.  I discovered the art of living and working abroad, and now I’m hopelessly addicted. I love this world, full of surprises and adventures, and I love exploring as many nooks and crannies of it as I possibly can.  I hope I can do this for a long time to come.

I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.  I come to this adventure late in life, and I figure I better do my wandering now before there is no time left!  I have a yearning to make my life as interesting and rich as possible in this second half of my life.

Who I am now, or who I am striving to be, is a diversion from the me of my past. The past me was a quilter, jewelry-maker, banker, horse-lover, writer of short stories and one very long unedited novel, party girl, member of the fabulous foursome, suburban housewife, and mother of three.  I tried for many years, most of my life, to fit into the mold that is expected of every American girl.  To live in the suburbs of northern Virginia, to entertain in my home, to attend playgroups with my children in tow, to chauffeur my children from soccer to basketball to lacrosse to baseball games.  I did all the suburban things most women in America are perfectly happy to do.  But I wasn’t happy.  I yearned for more.  I don’t know why I wore that role like an ill-fitting skin, why I constantly wanted to shake it off.  I love my children, and to be honest, I still love my husband.  But I found that life utterly unsatisfying.  I had to escape.  The journey I’m now on is one of awe and inspiration, excitement and adventure, but it’s also a journey of self-discovery, loneliness, hardship and discomfort.  I have chosen this path and I will continue on it until I’ve learned what I need to learn in this life.

Last year I taught English at the public schools in South Korea.  I taught at two elementary schools in Seongju, home of the yellow melon, and I lived in west Daegu.  It was my first experience living and working abroad, and though Korea was a huge challenge for me, it’s was one of the most transforming experiences of my life.

Adam, me and Alex at Washington National Cathedral, December 2008

This past summer I went back to Virginia for 6 months, and during that time, I taught Speaking and Listening at Northern Virginia Community College.  I loved teaching there, but it was only an adjunct position, the pay was lousy, and I had to pay taxes.  In the ESL world, which I have fallen into purely by accident, teaching abroad pays the best.  And it offers the greatest opportunities and adventures.

So.  Here I am in Nizwa, Oman, teaching English at the University of Nizwa.  I’ve been here now for nearly seven months out of a one year contract.  Just recently the university and I agreed to renew my contract for one more year.  After that I’m sure I’ll be looking for other lands to explore.

Here are some of my favorite quotes that might give you some hints about me:

“Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?”
“Being unstable and bitchy is all part of my mystique.”

“The first 40 years of parenthood are always the hardest.”

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.”
~William James

“History does not repeat itself; it only rhymes.”
~Robert Brigham, Professor of History, Vassar College

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
~Rhett Butler in “Gone With the Wind”

“Send me out into another life
lord because this one is growing faint
I do not think it goes all the way.”
~W.S. Merwin “Words from a Totem Animal”

Experience life in all possible ways — good-bad, bitter-sweet,
dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid
of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become.
~ Osho

“Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than the absence of others.” ~Alice Koller

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the
barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” rumi

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~Anais Nin

You create your future with the power of your intention. Intention is simply the conscious act of determining your future now. Health, harmony in relationships, happiness, money, creativity, and love will come to you in the future, based on your intentions now.

Intend every day and create your future life. (The Secret Daily Teachings)

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.”
– Lovelle Drachman

Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.
– Grace Hansen

What you think of me is none of my business. ~ Byron Katie

Self-actualized people are independent of the good opinions of other people. ~ Wayne Dyer

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~Helen Keller

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” ~Philip Roth.

“The desire to write grows with writing.” ~ Desiderius Erasmus

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” ~Emily Dickinson

8 responses »

  1. Kevin Pittman says:

    Found my way here looking for recent photos of Nizwa Univ. From Google I found your your “nomad in Oman” blog, then your Greek adventure blog. I teach in Qatar at a technical college. I considered a position at Nizwa and visited the town and campus in March of 2011. But this comment is to ‘endorse’ your decision to visit Greece. Everyone who has been there will recommend this or that location or attraction. I visited Greece three times: in the 70s (Crete and Athens), the 80s (Crete, Santorini, Amorgos), and again this Spring (Crete). I would only advise that you choose destinations based on what you want from your holiday (throngs of tourists or relative seclusion/quiet), mindful at the same time of the time of year you will be there (September is nice; April and May is nicer). Greece can deliver, but time of year is important. As for Greece related readings and films, I recommend: Zorba the Greek (1964-by Michael Cacoyannis, with Alan Bates, Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas) and the book (1946) by Nikos Kazantzakis; Henry Miller’s Colossus of Moroussi (1941); The Tempest (1982, by Paul Mazursky with John Cassavetes, Susan Sarandan, Gena Rowlands, Molly Ringwald and Raul Julia); The Magus, by John Fowles; a good modern translation of The Odyssey (Fitzgerald or Fagles); The Big Blue (by Luc Besson, with Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, Jean Reno). Say Hi to Derek and Mario.

    • Wow! Thank you, Kevin, for all the great recommendations. I have been thinking of Athens, Santorini and Crete, possibly Nafplio and Meteora, but we will see. I will be going the first two weeks in September, which I hope will be much less touristy and not as hot as August… ! I hope, anyway. I’ve read Zorba the Greek but have never seen the movie, so I’ll have to try to see it. I have The Tempest on my Kindle, but am now in the midst of reading Eleni, which tells the true story of a woman caught in the Greek Civil War in 1943. By the way, I told Mario hello and he was surprised to hear from you!! I never ran across Derek but if I do, I’ll tell him hello. I happened to be discussing this with Anna Snellen and she said she knows you too! And told me to tell you hello. I guess you all hail from Newfoundland?? Anyway, so nice to hear from you and thanks for all the great recommendations!! I can’t wait!!

  2. Lots of thanks for picturing my country so beautifully, especially this time of crisis. Love your shots, they have a positive sense in them, they make you smile! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Ioanna! I had a wonderful time in Greece and fell in love with it! I hope you can tell by my photos how much I enjoyed it. I’m so sad about the financial crisis & austerity cuts and now the unrest. All my love to the Greek people… 🙂

  3. It’s me again!
    Just letting you know you were mentioned in my blog You don’t have to participate in this award thing, i am just doing it to introduce my friends to the rest of my blogging company!

  4. Rafik Patel says:

    Hi, I was looking for a map of the Athens agora and came across your photograph. I am article on the agora was wondering if you would mind if I include your photograph of the map. Would give you a citation of course.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s