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We’ve been here in our new home for about 50 hours now, but it still doesn’t quite feel real to me. I still think that, at some point, the vacation is going to end and we’re going to end up going back home.

I don’t think I’ve ever done anything quite this scary. Every time before this that I’ve gone to unknown places, there has always been a planned return before I’ve left the comforts of the familiar. To go indefinitely into a completely foreign environment is totally new to me, and quite unsettling.

I didn’t realize before I left just how scary it would be. After all, I’ve moved to new places before. I’ve been to far-off places in the United States. I’ve been to other countries and other continents. I figured this would be similar.

And it is similar to other moves I’ve made. But it’s far more terrifying — and for no reason whatsoever. I’m not afraid of anything in particular. It’s just fear. I think the fear is a major factor in the surreal feel of it all.

I don’t get the sense that I’ll ever have an experience that realizes this whole affair for me. I think that the surreal feel of it will gradually give way to a feeling of reality. After a while, the whole business will seem real, I think. But there will be no turning point — no point at which I can say, now it becomes real. Just some future time when, reflecting on my situation, I will think, it seems to have become real now.

That perhaps is the most terrifying of all. It suggests a sort of acclimation to what is, essentially, an alternative reality. And that implies a forgetting of my past reality — the reality that includes family, home, faith, nation, and everything else I have held dear.

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