13 Months Later


It’s been over a year since Scotty and I settled in south Florida and it’s been a year of adjustments, punctuated by a few melt-downs and little victories. As very close friends can attest, it’s a good thing I didn’t write very much during the first six to nine months of our settling in. Despite the relentless sunshine my outlook was pretty dreary. I could find very little (nothing) to like about our new home. Sure, it was nice to have an apartment that was more than six times the size of our Paris flat. Sure there were things that were more convenient. Yes, it was warm. All these “positives” made me crave the grey skies of Edinburgh, the tiny cosiness of our 180 square foot apartment in Paris, and the ability to walk anywhere. A few trips to the beach reminded me that I’m just not a “beach person” and I would much rather hang out in a city park. Finding quality produce was an exercise in frustration. And I didn’t see beauty anywhere. 

Now that we’re beginning our second year here, a fact I can scarcely believe, I think I’m getting a handle on things. There are so many things about this place that I simply don’t understand. Why do so many of the men living here wax their eyebrows? I don’t know why anyone would empty their catheter onto the street while sitting in their car, but I’ve seen that happen here. I don’t know why that other dude was walking around with nothing on but a tank top, old whitey tighties and Crocs. I’m not sure why fraud is so incredibly rampant down here, but it is. I’m also not sure why the county we now call home has the highest HIV infection rate in the country. And frankly, I’m still really not sure why anyone lives here by choice, but I’m learning to just accept that this is a place that’s unique and is now a part of my story. As new friends have said in reference to S. Florida, “You can’t explain it, you just have to accept that it is what it is.”

Outside of the conundrums of culture, Scotty and I have been blessed with an amazing church and a growing circle of friends. Cultivating an attitude of grateful contentment is something I’ve struggled with over the past year but the knowledge that this is where the Lord has us for now is so comforting. Making connections and getting to know people has made all the difference, as it always does. I constantly remind myself that I didn’t like Edinburgh until we started making friends and it makes me so grateful that we were created for community. And so, a year after our repatriation, I looking forward to our next year here. Our little family is growing, there is anticipation, and profound gratitude. 

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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14 Responses to 13 Months Later

  1. Wow Becca – it feels as if you have written this post specially for me!!! The people here in Canada is ‘different’ than back home & we have been struggling to adjust (or even like) our new life!! But like you we believe we have been led here for a reason only known to Him (at this stage)!! Your post is motivation & hope for better things/times to come!! Thanks!! & glad to hear you are finally settling in!!! 🙂 **

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh Xandré! I can so relate. Moving to an entirely new culture is so difficult – especially the first year. I’m a firm believer in the idea that the first 12-18 months anywhere are the hardest, so know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers as I know how you feel.

      • You are too kind Rebecca!!! Thank you!!! 🙂 I’ll be looking forward to month19 then!!! 😀 Looking forward too seeing some photos of your belly?? 😉 Keep well & take care!!! Maybe someday we’ll meet on a florida beach!!! 🙂 That would be great!! 🙂 **

  2. cynthiaclairebruni says:

    I too am so “grateful that we were created for community” wherever we find ourselves on God’s beautiful planet earth.

  3. NLC says:

    lovely post, your honesty is a gift.

  4. Sara says:

    I’m glad you’re here in South Florida…it certainly takes time to adjust to a new place though…you and Scotty are a WONDERFUL addition to our community!! I’m grateful for you guys!

  5. Eddie and Sara says:

    Just a note to say Sara and I are glad you guys ended up here in South Florida — even it’s for a season 😉 Ya’ll rock.

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks man! You and Sara have been a big part of why this place now feels less foreign and more like home. Even if you’re going to try to turn our future child into a meth cook. 🙂

  6. audrey says:

    Sweet Rebecca,
    I love the raw, humble and sweet ways that you share your incredible journeys with us..those who have lived in the same place for the entire time we’ve known you and Hotty! I am thrilled that your contentment with community is cultivated. Your presence is too precious not to be shared.
    I look forward to you coming back to STL! IF that should ever happen.

  7. Michael says:

    Very interesting. Thank You, I enjoy reading about your travels. I spent much of my life in Southern California and I still don’t care for the weather here, too boring, enjoy the four seasons, only receive a dry season and a wet season (except when were in a drought year).
    My daughter who lives in Ullapool, UK was able to visit Clermont, FL for a few weeks this past July and was so happy to live only a few blocks from a shopping area with department stores, grocery markets and fast food. She’s back in Scotland now, with her one Tesco market.

  8. judi tome says:

    I have thought of you often as I prepare to take a group of students to Pars…and I have greatly missed your posts! I suppose that even to Scotty, the adjustment must be so different from growing up in Central Florida! You posts from Edinburgh were so wonderful as I prepared students for that trip, just as your Paris posts help me….I am just going to be praying that the sunshine and warmth of the south will envelop you and that the joy you have within will show up in observant and insightful posts from South Fla. When I am home, I long for Europe and when I am in Europe, I long for home. Isn’t that just the craziest thing? Keep writing, Becca….you have a real gift! Congrats to you and Scotty too!

  9. thepoolman says:

    We moved a lot during our first 16 years of marriage. Our thumb rule was it took 12-18 months to make the kind of friends who allow you to feel comfortable in a new city. Be patient. It will come.

  10. Marty Manor says:

    Am just now reading this and see you’ve found ‘perspective’ amidst HUGE adjustment. That takes time and even determination. Thank you for sharing…I think you will find many others who can appreciate your observations and sentiments.
    And it immediately reminded me of when I moved from SK to Washington, DC and even wrote a poem about missing the ‘real’ Vienna when I rode the Metro to downtown DC daily, passing thru the DC ‘Vienna’ station–VERY different than the European one!
    Much love,

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