One of the things I've discovered about living abroad is that the future can be very unstable. Even if an "expat" has a determined time limit for their stay abroad, there is always the possibility that things might be cut short, or that the time could be lengthened. There is also the question about how things might change in the company during their absence. Control freaks would not do well in an expat position. Yes, we can always make our own decisions about our life, but there is still a feeling of impermanence in our living situation.
Another part about living abroad is that we can't plan too much for tomorrow. In our church, we have a practice of storing a supply of food. Living abroad creates problems with doing that. In China, it's difficult to find storage materials. But in addition, knowing that we won't be here forever, we don't want to invest too much in food we most likely won't use, and will have to leave behind. I try to keep a certain amount of food on hand anyway, but not as much as I would in America. We also don't really feel that we can put down roots here. Even this very apartment could suddenly become unavailable for rent at any time. I'm even starting to look at craft projects differently, because I have realized that if I really like what I make, I have to figure out a way to take it back home when we eventually leave China. So everything we do here is for living today, not for tomorrow.
Having said that, we do spend a lot of time planning for our life after we return to the States. We have thought out several different scenarios. We still aren't sure when that will happen, but we are studying out our options, and thinking about what we really want. I also think a great deal about future gardens I will plant, future purchases of things I want, and future craft projects.
None of us really know what tomorrow will bring, but it is fun to dream about the possibilities. We can approach the future with fear and trepidation, or with the excitement of great possibilities. All it takes is a little dreaming and planning. All it takes is a little faith.
Let's pop over and see what the other consortium members have said about "tomorrow".
Rummuser, Anu, Ashkok, Gaelikka, Grannymar , Padmum, Magpie11, andAkanksha,Will Knot, Maria the Silver Fox, Anki, Nema Noor Paul Plain Joe, and Rohit, Black watertown, The Old Fossil, our newest member MAXI! and last, but not least SHACKMAN! :)