Expat to Expat – Friendships Endure

We had the most enjoyable surprise this week!  Twenty-five years ago, when we lived in Costa Rica full time (eleven years), and our children were young, a delightful family from Korea moved into the house next to ours in San Jose.  The couple did not speak English, but through all of our various levels of Spanish, we managed to communicate quite well.

Kim Choi Paul Brenda 2
Here we are, the four of us, in 1994.  San Jose, Costa Rica

The children had many moments of fun and laughter, and we enjoyed the parents very much.  Choi, the wife, cooked the most amazing Korean meals!  Oh, my mouth waters even as I write this!  When they left Costa Rica for Chile, we were sad, and we never thought our paths would cross again.  We were wrong!

This past week, Kim and Choi visited Costa Rica as part of a celebratory birthday trip!  And, through another former common neighbor friend, they contacted us and they came to Jaco on the bus to visit us.

It was so fun to reminisce, share old photos, take new photos, catch up and share news and photos of our children and grandchildren, have lunch together, and enjoy some delicious gelato, too.

Kim Choi Paul Brenda today2
And here we are together again in 2019 (looking even better – Ha!).  Jaco, Costa Rica

Friendships made abroad are often unique and significant, even when they are of shorter duration.  When you are alone and in a foreign country, encountering others in the same position creates an immediate bond. You automatically share experiences, emotions, and observations because you are seeing the same new world through outsider eyes.  And, often, those friendships last and endure because of the significance they play in your lives at a particular time.

That’s what we discovered when these precious friends walked out of our common past and into our home in Jaco.  We immediately reconnected.  It was like our friendship had been on a long trip, and had just come home.  It was great fun!

We meet such interesting and amazing people when we jump out of our own culture box and perceptions, and open ourselves to new experiences and relationships.  We are so grateful for Kim, Choi, Sarah, and Jaime, our Korean friends from the past, and now, the present.


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1 thought on “Expat to Expat – Friendships Endure”

  1. It was quite a delightful surprise to hear from them. And what fun to see the photos they had from all those year ago!

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