Recently while in Jordan visiting some of our IDEAS Associates, I was reminded of practical ways to be a respectful guest while visiting or working in a country outside the U.S. Here are some travel tips that will make you a welcome guest.

There is loss in leaving, and adults come to know it quickly. Experienced overseas workers learn how to make immediate friendships, grieve good-byes, and move on to the next wave of arrivals. There is a cycle, and most of us are transient. You get used to it.

One evening, 17 years ago, I was out walking my dog, and I began processing my life. That particular evening, I started thinking about my calling and my future.

Our thoughts and mindset determine how we view life, learning, and failure. Our minds are always observing and deciphering what's happening around us and what we need to do as a result. Sometimes we interpret life through a certain lens or particular mindset.

With thumb and forefinger she wipes the tears welling up in her eyes. . .

I’ve found myself in a new season of life. One characterized by wings, wrestling, tears, and blessing.

Culture affects everything. I know this, but even after living in three countries besides my passport country, I am caught by surprise at what culture impacts. For example, recently I was reminded that the concept of corners is cultural.

What is something new you’d like to try this year? Visiting a new country? Starting a new hobby? Joining a new group? Starting a new relationship? Learning a new skill? Stepping into a new career? Or stepping into your current career in new ways?

I have just recently started to feel like I’m catching a glimpse of the “other side” of my loneliness after six long months here in my native-born country. My heart has been aching with loneliness: "New Situation," "I'm Different," "No Friends."

It’s like a switch deep inside me. I can turn it on, but it’s more common for me to turn it off.