I moved to Antofagasta, Chile on February 11 of this year. It is the seventh country that I have moved to in the last 7 years. Lots of things are the same when moving somewhere new. New apartment, new groceries, new people, new food, new everything. But as they say in Thailand, same same but different.

It never ceases to amaze me how similar things are no matter where you go. Yes, things are expensive here in Antofagasta. It’s a desert so nothing grows here, it’s all imported from the south so it comes with a price. Yes, there is a language barrier, everyone speaks Spanish and hardly anyone speaks English. And yes, I had to buy a new set of adapters since the outlets are different (no matter where I go I never seem to have the right connection.)

But people smile. If you try to communicate people are patient. People laugh, raise their children, eat, sleep, lounge, drink beer and tell jokes. Sometimes when I say that I’ve lived in 6 different countries folks think, wow, how different, how exciting. The truth is that I do the same things that you do, that many people do. Monday to Friday, I wake up, sometimes I work out. I eat breakfast, shower, and walk to work. I work, I teach, I make copies, laugh with my students, learn something new, go to meetings, and eventually I go home. I eat, sometimes work out, do more work and go to bed. I then repeat it all again. Weekends are for, the same thing they are in every country, assuming your privileged enough not to have to work or struggle much, you run errands, shop, and hopefully rest. Same same but different.

Don’t get me wrong this life I live is different. It can be thrilling, exciting and wildly entertaining,but for the most part, I’m just living life. Same as everyone else. Next post will be on the joys of living in a new country but this time, I just want to put it out there that life for the most part is the same all over. Humans are human no matter what they eat, language they speak or kind of outlet they use.

2 thoughts on “Same

  1. Seven countries in seven years! That’s quite a story! I’d love to hear more about what started you on this journey. Where else have you been? What are your plans for next year?


  2. “Same same but different.” I love this phrase, and I’m adopting, co-opting it. We should all take comfort on the same same but different. Maybe then we could focus more on the “humans are humans no matter what” theme. Nice post. I’ll be back; I’m making a note to visit again on my SOL spreadsheet. Think of me as same same but different in Idaho.


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