This Summer, we have only had a handful of power cuts all Summer. The last three days, we have had a one hour cut in the middle of the night. I wake up sweaty in a way-too-quiet house, hearing the ceaseless beeping of the UPS (uninterrupted power supply, that keeps our computers and tv from frying) and feeling miserable.
I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I never go to Starbucks. I get a Starbucks maybe once every 2-3 months.
I'm okay with that.
I can't get really delicious salad greens without having to soak them in vinegar to be sure I don't catch bilharzia.
I always thought happiness was two kids and a dog. It was a five bedroom house with a pool, kids in private school and scout troops, a cul-de-sac where they could ride their bikes. A BMW and Mercedes parked in the driveway. An extra fridge in the garage to store the extra food because family visits so often.
Now, we live in Cairo, Egypt. We have an apartment in a city of 20 million people. We can hear the call to prayer five times a day. There are no traffic laws, and I drive a 1998 Jeep Cherokee with whitewall tires and "Cairo kisses". I drive next to donkeys on the highway.
I couldn't be happier.
Turns out, being out of my comfort zone is awesome. It is rocking my socks off. I am happier and more fulfilled here, where I'm always on my toes, can't understand most people around me, have to search for English signs because I can't ask for directions. Where I know which restaurants I can eat at without having repercussions.
I have friends from different countries, different faiths. I am challenged daily to think outside the box. Piper can't ride a bike. But she can speak some Arabic, she knows that some people believe different things than us but we all have commonality. She truly does not see color. Sure, she notices that she's a minority, but she could care less. She loves asking people about their home countries. She honestly believes that we will get to visit every country on earth.
I hope she's right.
My biggest fear these days is going "home". I don't think I will fit. I feel like I swelled and no one can squeeze me into the mold anymore. I'm scared of going back to a "normal life". I have been changed so much for the better, I am terrified I will morph back into pre-Egypt Regan.
I don't want to abide by traffic laws, or sit in the drive-thru line at Starbucks. I don't want everything to be easy again. I don't want to take for granted the stunning blue skies and green grass of America. I see pictures and it looks so fake. My Mom, who lived overseas four times so far in her life, said you don't ever really go back. And it can be hard to hold your tongue when people complain about not having something that is so unnecessary when so many suffer with far less. She tells me you never really go back. That a piece of you stays Egypt-y.
I'm a bit scared of normal life.
Of ordering something from Amazon and getting it the next day instead of in 3-6 weeks.
If it were up to me, I'd continue wandering the earth. Exploring, immersing, learning, taking the hands of my children and showing them the whole wide world. If only travel were free. If only you could apply to be a paid traveler of the earth, a superhero doing good deeds, bringing light to dark places, being a good example of an American.
I miss Target. And TJ Maxx. I miss Outback Steakhouse. I miss my parents and my siblings. I miss my sweet fluffy cat.
But I just want to visit. I have learned here that my home is my peeps. It's my husband and children. My best friend. It's talking to my Mom on FaceTime.
My home is my heart. No yard required.