Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.         
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

A young colleague has just resigned to go off on a big adventure of travelling through foreign countries and settling down for short periods to live and work overseas. As part of her speech she quoted the well known lines of the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken.

For a variety of reasons there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. some were crying because she was visibly upset, some because they hadn’t taken another path and some because they had taken chances in life which hadn’t worked out as expected.

Mine were tears of recognition as she is slightly younger than I was when I decided to give up on teaching in Scotland and go and live overseas. I was full of adventure and romance because I was going off to marry my handsome millionaire who lived in America and we were going to have this cross cultural marriage where differences would be celebrated and love would conquer all. I even followed him to the Middle East but couldn’t quite let go of the Scottish Christian-raised personna and he couldn’t quite let go of the all-powerful Middle Eastern master of all he surveyed. Cultural clashes became increasingly frequent and the required wifely obedience was never going to happen.

However the decision to explore and experience life elsewhere did make me a different person, more open to different ideas, more willing  to stand up and be counted and of course our wonderful daughter made all the angst worthwhile and I am the sum total of all of these disparate experiences.

Are you brave enough for the road less travelled by?


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