Why did I join the Peace Corps and move to Moldova? 

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

This question seems to come up a lot but I haven’t shared it here before. 

Why Peace Corps?

Why not? But really, this answer is part of a long story that spreads out over about 7-8 years. In short, I reached a point in my life, career, and heart where I was restless but also quite comfortable in where I was, and I knew that it was time to step out of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith. I had always imagined that at this point in my life I would be married, have children, work at a job within the arts, and own a home where I would host family and friends for holidays and celebrations. That was not quite my reality. 

After much thought and prayer, I decided to make a big change in my career. As I was exploring my options I came across information about Peace Corps. I realized that their core mission and goals lined right up with where my heart and passions are. So I applied, taking a huge leap beyond my comfort zone and trusting that the outcome would be better than anything I could ever imagine, and not even sure that I would even be accepted. 

“Our more than 220,000 current and returned Volunteers know that the Peace Corps changes lives—both their own and the lives of people in communities around the world. They learn about leadership, ingenuity, self-reliance, and relationship building and become global citizens.”

Peace Corps mission…

To promote world peace and friendship by

  • Helping the people of interested countries in meetings their need for trained men and women
  • Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
  • Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

Never did I think I would work or live abroad. It took about a year for the whole application process, from the time of applying to my departure date. For me I needed that time to prepare not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. I decided to sell or give away most of my belongings, car, furniture…pretty much everything. I was starting over, a fresh clean slate. In the moment it was emotionally overwhelming, but now looking back I am so glad I did it. I don’t miss all that stuff and I feel incredibly free and enjoy the simplicity. 

At the airport in Philly as we were waiting in line to check our bags for our flight to Moldova

Why Moldova? 

When I had applied and interviewed for the Peace Corps I said I was willing to go anywhere in the world. How did I know what would be a best fit for me if I’ve only been to 3 countries? I liked the idea of living in a tropical place but was willing to trust that wherever I went would be a good fit, knowing that Peace Corps does their best to line up matching the volunteers skills to placement. 

In January 2014 I received my invitation to Moldova and I had to learn all about it before my departure date of June 2014. I accepted the invitation and now looking back I cannot imagine my life without the people and this place I call home right now. 

With my Balti host family and my mom and brother from their visit to Moldova.

Each day brings new adventures, experiences, and challenges. I have learned a new language… increased the number of members in my family… made new friends… continue to learn the art of patience and flexibility… and I have a greater love and appreciation for travel. I am glad that my reality looks different than the one that I imagined decades ago. Little did I know that all the little and big steps I took over that 7-8 year period would lead me here to this place, to new horizons and a changed heart. No regrets. 

This post kicks off the blogging challenge I have jumped into to start off the new year. Read more about this challenge here: Challenge Accepted.