The Truth About Post-Abroad Life

“If you could live anywhere in the world, money was not a problem and it didn’t matter where your family was, where would you go?”

It was a simple question a friend asked me over dinner tonight. But as my mind began reeling, my answer surprised even myself.

I don’t want a place, I just want the adventure. 

After moving 8 times and planting my feet in 8 different countries over the past several months, you’d think I’d have a better answer to that question. But through all of the madness and transition, I felt so alive and present. I was obsessed not only with my new experiences and unique circumstances, but also with the adrenaline that accompanied them. I thought I had permanently quenched the dryness of life, promising that I would never ever, not once, allow myself to be overtaken by the hum-drum again.

Now that I am back in my routine gelato-less life I like to call school, I find myself asking, “Now What?” Where’s my next adventure? I’m ready, let’s go, God! 

I have been treating the last few weeks like an unimportant stand still. The waiting room for my next big extravagant calling. But the truth is, I’m right where God wants me to be. Life is not intended to be a random stringing of mundane activities with pops of delight. It’s the attitude of my heart that’s making it that way.

Yes, my life in Italy was full of beauty, intrigue and zest, but who’s to say my everyday life can’t be just as joyous? That’s the way our Creator made it to be! Paul’s words in Ephesians 1 make my adrenaline-junkie heart sing.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in his holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.


Enlightened. Riches. Glorious. Incomparably Great.

Does anything about that sound ordinary? Jesus did not die so we could continue to live trapped within the bounds of our own minds. After I came across these verses, I was challenged to live in a way that actively seeks and expects joy. Because everything was so new in Italy, I automatically expected each day to be incredible. The same should apply to any day the Lord has made.

In my life, seeking that joy looks like putting down burdens I once thought as obligations, and allowing myself to just let bliss sink in. I don’t have to create it, because it has already been created for me; but sometimes I do have to work harder to park my mind in it. Just because I am in a familiar place doesn’t mean I have been in and seen all of the goodness that can happen here. Just today, I delighted in reading a good book on the front porch, lingering over dinner and dessert with a friend, and laughing with my roommates. Oh, and I think I found a new answer to the question- If I could live anywhere, it would be here. 


Hey, you! Fill this box with joy. (And comments)


  1. says

    Your wise beyond your years Kaitlin! If only I knew in my early twenties what you know now 🙂 I just knew you were going to say your favorite place to live was at the Kuhar’s during your internship! …LOL! I know while you were here it was your favorite and it was our favorite too!! Love your writing. What a blessing you are to me and to the world. xoxox

    • Kaitlin says

      You are the sweetest! Of course living at the Kuhars will always be one of my favorite places and memories:) I would still rather be there than here but I know God wants me here! Love you so much! Xoxoxo