Nine months ago we moved to Casablanca. I have been thinking about this move, my experiences, and the ways in which life has changed.
There were many wonderful things that I expected in this move to Morocco: meeting new people, learning language, eating new foods, new rewarding work, and traveling. There were also some unhappy things that I didn’t expect: illness, crazy traffic, and bureaucracy.
Then there are the wonderful things that I didn’t expect: the unexpected delights. Those can be the happiest of all: the fresh local spices, beautiful soap that I never knew existed, the ocean view from our apartment, the abundance of fresh produce.
My mom always said, “Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed.” This is true, and in fact, may be the key to living a happy life overseas. If you don’t expect the bank to have money, the store to be open, the taxi driver to charge you fairly, the grocery to have tahini paste, your wait to be short, or to have a productive day, it is much easier to accept when all of those things are not. (These are all things that are not guaranteed here in Morocco.)
Or, how about, “Expect nothing and you might be delighted.” That’s what I’m talking about. Accept the thorns and you might just find a rose.
I’m thinking a lot about these unexpected delights…stay tuned as there is more to come.