Brain Pickings has a nice review of Keri Smith’s book “How to be an Explorer of the World.” It’s intended as a prompt for creativity, I think, but it’s a good useful guide for just living, and especially just living in a new place. You don’t have to be Making Big Excursions to really soak in the experience of being in a foreign country.
By way of example, yesterday Mal and I met some friends at the playground/park at the end of our street. Sure, it was like any other playdate in the sense that the other mom and I chatted while the kids played on the monkey bars and teeter-totters…but it was also Exploring the World. I showed Mal the little plants that grow in the grass that close up when you touch them (mimosa pudica, or “Shy Grass”), and he showed L. and they searched for them, then experimented with how close you could get your finger to the plant before it sensed you and how long it would take before the plant opened up again. Then they found some of the hard fruit husks thrown down from the trees by the parrots, looked up, and sure enough there were macaws eating in the tree! So we all got to see them up close and note enough details that we could identify them as chestnut-fronted macaws (this pair seems to hang out around here, so I’d already added them to my bird board on Pinterest). Then L’s mom noticed a different bird in the lower branches, and we all checked it out and discovered it was a chachalaca, which is just fun to say.
I haven’t pointed out the really huge caterpillars that I sometimes mistake for seedpods, though. Mal’s not a fan of creepy-crawlies, and these dudes are huge.