That would be me right now...happy and sad. I'm sitting in my hotel room in London, having departed Muscat, Oman last night. When something and someone is so good and you have to leave it/them but you are headed to see your grandsons...well, that equates to bittersweet. My 21 months in Muscat were the best. I loved my job, my friends and the country. Leaving such a wonderful place was hard to do. The friends I made were a bonus. What a bonus! And leaving them was harder than leaving Oman.
The benefits of doing what I do are unending...I travel, I have an interesting job that makes me WANT to come to work every morning, I meet fantastic people and have the opportunity to live around the world and meet and learn to understand people of other cultures. That last one is really important. The more we learn about other people, their culture, their beliefs, their traditions...the more we understand them. You realize very soon that understanding is powerful. It softens any negative attitudes you might have about a certain culture or country. It promotes tolerance.
What we need is more tolerance of other cultures. And what I need are fewer goodbyes. And the bittersweet of this...I look forward to the many 'hellos' I'll get when I arrive in Lahore, Pakistan.