Living between two countries and cultures has its advantages. Of course, it also has its disadvantages, too. Americans telling us we’ve started picking up an Irish accent is an advantage. Nothing makes you instantly popular as quickly as an Irish accent in America. But saying things like “Sorry, are ye in the queue?” instead of “Excuse me, are y’all in the line?” is a disadvantage. We’ve gotten used to the blank looks that tell us we’ve just used the wrong country’s vocabulary. It’s an advantage to get to experience the different food, scenery and richness of different places, an advantage to be able to meet old friends after getting off airplanes and trains in quite a few cities, and a disadvantage to have to say goodbye to people we love so very often. It’s an advantage to gain new perspective on many of our cultural assumptions about the way things should be, but a disadvantage to be constantly wondering if we handled every situation appropriately for the context. It’s an advantage to be welcomed in different worlds, but a disadvantage to feel like we never completely fit in any of them. It makes us think, it stretches us, it forces us out of so many comfortable habits, it humbles us, sometimes humiliates us, and makes us laugh at ourselves as it teaches us that this world really is not our home. We are thankful for the privilege of living between worlds.
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