Tomorrow is our pre-packout survey with a local moving company. My hubby and I both get the afternoon off to follow our future movers through every room of the house while they assess how much stuff we have and figure out how much packing material they’re going to need.

And I’m having strangely mixed feelings. Oh, don’t worry, it’s not nostalgia or anything, and I’m as excited as ever to be going to London. But we’ve actually gotten a bit of attitude from a couple people about our lack of love for our current host country and our enthusiasm for our next post, which has kind of surprised me. It’s almost as if they think we’re snobs for wanting to go to a first-world country.

When I joined the Foreign Service I was 100% serious when I signed that little piece of paper saying that I would be willing to move myself and my family to any place the US government desired. And I still stand by that. At no point did they say we had to love, or even pretend to love, every location.

I’ve sometimes wondered if I should sugar-coat things a little more in my blog entries…maybe talk up the positives and minimize the negatives. But I don’t think that’s an accurate portrayal of life in the Foreign Service. Anyone considering doing this for a living should be fully aware of the fact that they might, and probably will, be posted to places they don’t like…and that you try to make the best of it…or at least survive it.

Of course, we’re going to have personal preferences as to where we live and what we consider enjoyable. Some people don’t want to go someplace unless it’s at least a 15% on the hardship scale…they get more money, more perks, and consider it an adventure. They’re called “hardship junkies.” I’m 41 years old and spent the better part of the last decade living in a tiny research station in the Antarctic.

Right now, I do want a few creature comforts. I want some variety in history, art and culture. I want good restaurants. I want museums and parks and clean, reliable public transportation. I want my child to be able to enjoy the outdoors. I want a choice of more than two rundown towns to go to on the weekend. I want to live somewhere where we’re not discouraged from visiting the neighboring countries because they’re potentially dangerous.

I want to go to EUROPE!  Because I do love travel and adventure, and I’d like to actually do and have some. So I guess it’s pretty safe to say that I am not a hardship junkie, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

But maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. My idea of hardship might just be different than other people’s. I have no problem with subzero temperatures and six consecutive months of winter darkness. Just get me out of the jungle.

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