Malaysia #1: Malaysia, My Family and Me

Some of my readers already know that I’m in Malaysia now, because life is awesome.
We’ve been here about a month, and it’s time get back on the blogging horseThe Boys.

My wife and I, despite growing up 90 miles apart, met while we were both living and working in Japan. Before we even had kids, we agreed to live abroad for a while so they could have that experience and learn the unique lessons that can teach.

 

I don’t use “unique” lightly here. Many – too many – mediocre writers and speakers use the word “unique” to mean any of the following:

• Special
• Beautiful
• Delicious
• Interesting
• Important
• Meaningful
• Average
• Terrible
• Some other thing the writer can’t come up with a word for

Here, I use “unique” to mean “something unlike anything else” or “one of a kind.” You learn things by living in another culture – not just visiting, but living there – that you cannot learn in any other context. These aren’t just things about that culture, although those lessons are valuable. You learn about people, your home country and about yourself. My job as a dad is to teach my kids the important stuff I know.

So here we are. In Melaka.

The Floating Mosque

I will be blogging about some of those lessons and our shared experiences while I’m out here. Hopefully they’ll entertain and amuse you. Long-time friends and fans may remember how I sent an email newsletter out every couple of weeks back when I moved to Japan (and ultimately met my lovely and talented wife). I dragged those out and figured I would share my opening salvo from that blog-before-blogs-happened.

Greetings beloved friends and family!

I would add colleagues, clients, heroes, admirers and random strangers who haven’t yet emailed to say they’re reading my blog. Also my new friends and new family. One of the blessings of living another decade is you add ten years’ worth of quality people to your circle.

After so many delays, the time has finally come. In less than 36 hours I will get on an Air Canada plane and begin my adventure. I will miss the holy heck out of the lot of you, but with the help of the Internet I hope to keep in touch.

Pretty much the same applies here. With my wife’s job starting two months before my stateside responsibilities ended, I really felt like wheels-up couldn’t come too quickly. And I will miss the holy hell out of my loved ones across the country. We flew JAL, but we flew out of the same airport I left North America from in 2001.

Now the Internet is a bit different: what with social media, I’m talking with some of my people more than when I was at home. It’s a poor substitute for hoisting a pint at the bar or an in-person hug or a round of sparring, but life truly is global now. Folks on my Facebook feed are already getting a string of pictures and observations from the profound to the hilarious to the bizarre.

I want to thank you all for your years of friendship and support. It’s your constant affection, advice and encouragement that have made me into the sort of person who has the confidence and curiosity to go live in a foreign country.

Well put, 28-year-old me. From the emotional to the logistical to the financial, it’s my friends, family, colleagues and clients who have given me the life I enjoy so much. That includes the flexibility and confidence to bring two kids to the other side of the planet. I hope this blog and my Facebook, Twitter and G+ updates do a little to help pay that enormous debt.

Keep in touch, all. Be safe and take care of each other, okay?

The only thing I’d add is that I’m better established than when I took off at 28 with a backpack worth of clothes and a box of books. We have a guest room over here for anybody who can swing the airfare.

I will be posting updates and photos to my social media, and a blog post here every week or so. Stay tuned, and let me know what you’d like me to find out for you about Malaysia, travel and Southeast Asia in general.

Thanks for listening.

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