Why did we become expats? Where and when did we first decide to become expats, or to move from one expat country to another - took the decision that changed our lives? A couple of years ago I happened across a story of Mark Twain's which he published under the title "The Turning Point", and I set about trying to identify my own turning-point. It was an interesting exercise in deduction, though my discovery was not nearly as dramatic as Twain's! I blogged about it in a post at the link below. And below that, is how I began the post.
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*Twain (born Samuel Clemens) identified the turning point of his life as his infection with measles at age twelve. Mine occurred at age 26 in the US Consulate in London at ten o’clock one morning, when I changed my mind. I expect most people’s personal turning-points occur more in young adulthood than in childhood.
*Fearful of a local measles epidemic, in the days when measles was a killer, Samuel’s mother confined him to the house pro tem. Impatient with delaying what he reckoned to be the inevitable, he sought out an infected friend, crawled into his bed with him and stayed overnight. When the epidemic had run its course – with the boys luckily still alive – Sam’s furious mother gave up on his schooling and apprenticed him to a printer of books.
*Captivated by stories of the Amazon River, he ran away on a Mississippi river-boat headed for the international port of New Orleans. With no money, he stayed on the river, became a pilot, then a writer of occasional stories, then a literary legend. It all began with the measles.*
It would be interesting to know what other IN members believe to have been their main "turning points". Any offers?