What am I giving up?

When I was in Tanzania I stayed with an Australian lady for a few days.  She was working as teacher for a Christian Mission organisation in Dodoma.  Dodoma is the "capital" of Tanzania - selected because it is in the middle of the country.  In reality it is just a few political buildings and one dusty concrete road which pales into insignificantcein comparison to the industry and bustle of Dar Es Salaam.  But this is not a consideration of African politics and colonialism.
Anyway this woman was one of those spirited, dedicated and tenacious people who have lived the most incredible lives by most people's standards.  She has taught and done mission work all around the globe, she was self-assured, beautiful and talented.  I was talking to her about her life and probably kept saying "wow"..."you're so lucky"..."thats great" and stuff like that - as you would.

Suddenly she stopped describing her adventures and achievements, her voice dropped and her open vulnerability has stuck with me as one of my lasting memories of her.  She told me about how whenever she goes home, all her family and old friends tell her how lucky she is, and how jealous they are of her freedom and her lifestyle.  But when they say that, all she sees is the things that she has given up to obtain that freedom.  Things that they had but maybe didnt realise the true value of.  Husbands, children, stability, security.

Not to say that she couldnt have had those things in Tanzania, or in any corner of the world, with any style of life.  But the choices we make do tend to force us to prioritise certain aspects of our lives.  I guess the more extreme the decision, the more likely it is that you are to have to give something else up

So what am I going to be giving up?  I too intend to run to the corners of the earth and never look back.  But the biggest risk of all is that most of the time, you wont know what you are giving up until it is too late.  Its a risk Im willing to take because I know what I will gain is worth the potential sacrifices. 


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