Life's "turning points"

Everybody has a "turning point" in his or her life - incidents that changed the course of their lives from one set path to another. Some are easy to identify, some aren't. Some are exotic, some bizarre, some unexpected and unpredictable. My parents met on a bus: it was a turning point for my mother, but not for my father. My wife and I met at a hostel: for her it was a turning point, but for me, not. 

As an old codger, I revel in reminiscences. When I was writing and publishing my personal blog some years ago, I took the trouble to record some stories for my grandchildren, who live in Norway and don't know much about us. It seemed a sensible thing to do, to tell them how and why we got from Australia to a Caribbean island; and writing about it required that I identify my life's turning point. Here's what I wrote.
http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2013/ … point.html

I'm starting this thread in the hope that members of expat.com will record their personal turning points here. My point is interesting to me and my family, but not necessarily to anyone else. The same applies to everybody's. However, it's certainly worth a try! Please?

There's a time I'll think I have finally reach my turning point only to realise I'm still on square one. Again I ask myself, what is a turning point, is it an achievement are they milestones to measure it. It buffels my mind. I am a fish in a pond. WHAT IS A TURNING POINT ?

Jussy. I identified my own turning point as the incident or decision that switched me from one path to another. Not a milestone, and not an achievement - more a "fork in the road", if you like. After identifying my own, I went looking for my son's, which turned out to be (in my opinion; I've never asked him!) a totally casual and random decision to turn left instead of right or straight ahead, when he got to a seaport while drifting around. Here's the link to that story.
https://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2014 … eston.html
Of course, in life there are hundreds of decisions that influence anybody's future - especially an expat's. Just deciding to leave one's home country is a huge decision. Deciding where to go to, is often where the turning point comes in.

My life had so many turning points, it sometimes resembled a drunkard's stagger. But it was never boring, and it made me who I am now.

beppi :

My life had so many turning points, it sometimes resembled a drunkard's stagger. But it was never boring, and it made me who I am now.

Ah, but to win the prize, Beppi, you have to select just one - the one that decided your present life more than any of the others!

And by the way, all those sojourns in Singapore and Indonesia, and back in Germany... were you actually living there every time, or just visiting? And wouldn't your first time living outside your home nation qualify as a major turning point?

I have no intention of winning a prize with my life’s quirks, nor do I want to disclose them publicly - only good friends over a glass of wine are eligible.
My timeline shows places I lived in for at least a year. I count shorter stints (e.g. 6 months in the USA in the late 1990ies) as mere visits.

beppi :

My life had so many turning points, it sometimes resembled a drunkard's stagger. But it was never boring, and it made me who I am now.

Well, it seems to have made you very secretive, beppi! I can't see that it's a big deal to reveal one's life's turning point, but it's a free world. Anybody else want to disclose his or her turning point?

If you think about your day and you life so far every night when you come to sleep it will be amazing "turning point" in your life, don't wait for something bad like lose something or someone or something good to look to it as a "turning point", in our life the true turning point was when we born and later when we die :)

MohammedSalah87 :

...in our life the true turning point was when we born and later when we die

Well, not quite, Mohammed. Before you're born you have no life, and after you die you have no life. So those events are not "turning points" by the ordinary definition of the term. If someone doesn't have any "turning point", he's led an entirely boring life, I'd say.

even am not agree with you but let me tell you that life's turning points is out of our hands so we must accept it and I strongly think that it shouldn't turn our way but sometimes yes it did

Thanks Gordon Barlow. For your explanation at least I grasp meaning of what you're saying about " turning point". As I'm 38 now I look back from where I came from I realized, yes there's was a turning point in  my life. And not limited to one but multiple.

I've had a few. I think the biggest turning point for me was ending a relationship that was very important to me. It is the single mist difficult  thing I've ever done.  That was the beginning of my  journey of doing things deliberately instead of letting life just happen. That was the first time I took the reigns.

Mazhbeen.s :

I've had a few. I think the biggest turning point for me was ending a relationship that was very important to me.

I expect emigrating from India was also an important turning point. Emigrating must be one of the turning points of every expat. It was for me, too - though not quite as important as the one I identified in my OP. So I'm with Mazhbeen, on that. It's fun to track down all the points, isn't it?

same here

and are you satisfy now ? the most important thing I see with the lifes turning points is to make us satisfy

Well, yes and no, Mohammed. A bad accident can also be a turning point, and not in a good way.

My turning point was making the decision to move back to Russia. This time I hope it will be for good..
Plenty of events that leads me towards that direction actually. Both my parents passed away one after another. Meeting my wife who happens to be Russian.  When everything was going wrong. I think meeting her was the only thing that was right.
You could say she was the one, like yhe missing piece in my life. You could say my turning point..

Yuki. I would think that moving from your homeland to Malaysia must have been an earlier turning point of yours. I've just been reading up on Tatarstan (well, Wikipedia only!), and I marvel at your decision to emigrate, and how did you come to be in Malaysia? It seems a very brave move, and I'm thinking maybe your parents went there on a contract of some sort. Can you tell us a bit more about your life? I'm fascinated.

If you went to school there, I guess that's where you learnt English. In any case, you're quite likely the only Tatarstani (if that's the name: I've no idea) member of expat.com. So, congratulations on that!

I've had a more adventurous life (when I was young, at least) than many people, and I've written a bit about it on my blog; but your life is very exotic indeed, and I really hope you'll share some stories on this thread.

Hi Gordon, actually i am from Malaysia. I was in  Moscow back in 2012 until 2015. Had to return to Malaysia. I went to school in Colombo, Sri Lanka, when my dad was stationed there.That's where i learn English. The school is called OCS back then. I moved around quite a fair bit.

I have to agree with you. Moving back was kind off a turning point in my life. I am planning to move back to Russia Kazan. But it has to wait for few more years. Now i am just saving up as much money as possible. Preparing myself to go there. Planning on retiring in Russia.

:top:  good job for all of us!

Muslims believes there is life before born and after dead.

Wish God put ease in you and all of us in what we have been through and what's gonna happened next. And always make all of us love, respect and calm between us.  :heart:

Mina Mosa. But have there been any turning points at all in your life? Have you ever been an expat?

all religious has own believe , i think believe yourself , thats very importnat.

I have been an expat since i was a small child, because of that i feel expat when i am in my own country. :)

Medol :

I have been an expat since i was a small child, because of that i feel expat when i am in my own country. :)

Well, you bring up an interesting diversion - namely, what is one's "own country"? Your profile says you live in China, so I'm guessing that your parents have moved around from place to place without them or you becoming citizens or passport-holders of any of those places. Is that the case? Then, presumably, your "own" country - whichever it is - is the only place that you can live without having to get some kind of permit. "Home is where they have to take you in", right?

When our son was born in England - of Australian parents - we registered his birth at the Australian consulate there, which enabled him to get an Australian passport in later years. His years of domicile in the Cayman Islands earned him Caymanian citizenship and subsequently UK citizenship, so he now has passports from three countries (EU/UK, Cayman and Australian), plus he has Permanent Residence in Norway. He calls himself English. His parents call themselves Caymanian, which is technically correct, although most native-born Caymanians regard all immigrants as expats. Go figure.

Nationality is indeed a very interesting topic.
National border are mere lines drawn into the sand - and mostly done so for power or wealth considerations, not cultural coherence (although all polititians, including the least trustworthy ones, claim that as their major motive). Animals are wise enough to ignore them, so why can’t we?
In my opinion, the current concept of nation states with sole jurisdiction over a land area and membership by fiat is a historical aberration, which came into existence in the aftermath of the 30-years-war (that ended in 1648) and is already breaking down in some parts of the world (e.g. the EU).
It suits the rich and powerfull well, so it will unfortunately be with us for a while longer.
The absurdity of it became apparent when, a while ago, I met an elderly gentleman who came to Germany as a child (from India) and had his German citizenship far longer than me. Why should he be less German than me, who happened to be born here, but lived more years in Asia than he ever did?!?

Beppi. I think it boils down to private property. Is an individual entitled to private property, or must he share it with whoever wants to share it? Is a family entitled to private property, or must they share it with other families who want to use some or all of it? Is a community (a clan, or a tribe, or a bunch of farmers, or a team of hunters, entitled to deny the use of any or all of a shared asset of any kind, to any other community, or have they no right to own it? And, finally, is a community of communities - call it a nation - entitled to keep all or even some of what it has, or none of it?

The opposite of a right to private property is the obligation to share everything one owns. The opposite extremes are feudalism and communism. Which is the more natural of the two, to humans? Both systems require force to flourish. Is one army of bandits morally superior to the other?

I'm not taking sides, here, just stating the basic argument. Pushed to the point, I would say that a) selfishness is a more *natural* sentiment than selflessness, and b) that the latter is the more admirable. What do you reckon? What do the world's immigrants reckon, whether legal or illegal? One thing to bear in mind is this:- without the right to private property, there can be no theft - and probably no law at all.

Nvr move to other country, but always move states in my own country. 5-6 times i guess hehe.
Too much turning point in my life.
The obstacles...
But yeah keep motivated fr all of us! :heart:

iv had a lot of turning point, a big one of them is when I left my home country to start a new journey in the Netherlands, then when I left the Netherlands to Germany, then again Left to the Netherlands. In General, I feel that before being an Algerian citizen or dutch or whatever, I am a citizen of the world. for me, it feels like there will be more turning points because no matter how we plan, life will come up with something that will shift you to a different path. and of course, that will keep happening until the end and we can only try to adjust and plan how to handle the next one.

Nad. What was it that persuaded you to 1) leave your home and 2) return to it. A lot of expats (those who have shifted around a bit, anyway) feel they are citizens of the world - but, again, there is usually a point when they decide that loyalty to one's country is not as valuable as loyalty to the human race! That point is sometimes hard to identify.

Because of my sense of adventure I left home at a young age to wander around the world. I would not classify each new country I entered to be a 'turning point' more just a bend in the road of life.
I do have a loyalty to my home country  because of my deep family roots and long time friends.

Gordon the reason I left Algeria is simple, the future there didn't seem bright and I'm glad I took that decision, now I have a nice diploma that got me an international career.
now I have to ask, What does it mean to be loyal to a country?
is it good to be loyal  ? or is it bad?

Stumpy and Nad. Loyalty to one's home country is a tribal instinct, I think. It's close to "my country right or wrong" - and can easily spill over into that foolish sentiment. I wouldn't say it's necessarily a bad thing, but it's simplistic and dangerous. How can one trust a patriot to be fair in his dealings with the world, if he is loyal to whatever ethical standard his country abides by?

As for family and friends, yes, I can see a sort of virtue in loyalty to them - BUT not if their ethical standards are faulty. A mother will always love her son, but if he is a psychopath murderer (or even a plain ol' everyday warmonger), her loyalty should be strained, at the very least! Again, it's a tribal instinct, and I have no time for such a thing.

even i had many turning points right from childhood to what iam today.. the responsibilities, family occasions etc... some how life'z goin on..

I do agree with you Gordon. However I think that my extensive travels over many years have given me an insight in that I can sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to family, friends and loyalty to one's country.
I do have a certain loyalty to my home country but this is not clouded by any bias or obsession.

There's that attachment or feeling that always lingers with each time you hear something said about your country of origin.
Testimony of myself. A lot bad things happens  and happened there but when ever my colleagues try to draw me into a discussion i always ends up taking the defensive side. What can you say about this?

Quite right, Jussy. I too am well aware of an instinct to defend criticism - of not only my home nation and state (province) and its capital city, and my current home, and my favourite country to visit - respectively, Australia, Queensland, Brisbane, and England. But I strive for fairness, and try to be objective - as befits a self-proclaimed advocate of "human rights" as opposed to tribal or national rights! But I almost instinctively remind myself that there are good and bad in all places and people in the world, and that politicians and senior bureaucrats of all sorts deserve to be mistrusted.

So I'm happy enough to join in with any bashing of Australia, Queensland, Brisbane and England if it's fair. If an attacker is not being fair, then I generally just shrug and walk away.

I have had many turning points, and I don’t mind being public about my own obstacles because we all have them in different forms, but mine began when my mother inherited books from a family member who passed away. At age 9, I began reading philosophical books, like “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen. During difficult times, I spent my childhood reading, reflecting (a lot) journaling, and writing. My mother had a lot of issues and I relied on books for support of my inner progress into womanhood. At age 16, I decided I would never own a television.

A drastic turning point happened when I fell in love with the wrong person. I had a history of great relationships, but it was a time in my life when I was open to marriage.  I spent 2 of 3 years with this man, eventually living in a type of mental hell that I didn’t know existed on this Earth. It was a “dark night of the soul,” for me, coming into the realization of all of the thought patterns I told myself (and the ones my mother told herself) and loving someone so broken that didn’t have it in him to change. However, the real, peak turning point for me was after I left him, which felt like climbing the highest mountain in my mind/body/spirit towards my inner freedom, I had many “spiritual” breakthrough experiences that were ...like a literal Heaven on Earth, one in which changed me forever.

I feel like the process of my life has been fighting for inner freedom and peace, all of which is freely given to each one of us; I suppose now I’m working on my vision.

[Also, visiting Peru and living in many USA states really opened my vision as well].

AllieTea :

I have had many turning points, and I don’t mind being public about my own obstacles because we all have them in different forms, but mine began when my mother inherited books from a family member who passed away. At age 9, I began reading philosophical books, like “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen. During difficult times, I spent my childhood reading, reflecting (a lot) journaling, and writing.

A drastic turning point happened when I fell in love with the wrong person... However, the real, peak turning point for me was after I left him, which felt like climbing the highest mountain in my mind/body/spirit towards my inner freedom, I had many “spiritual” breakthrough experiences that were ...like a literal Heaven on Earth, one in which changed me forever.

I feel like the process of my life has been fighting for inner freedom and peace, all of which is freely given to each one of us; I suppose now I’m working on my vision.

[Also, visiting Peru and living in many USA states really opened my vision as well].

Hi Allie, I can see that your mother's inheritance was a sure turning point, and also your leaving your first husband; but was getting married the first time a true turning point, in that it changed your life in a way that influenced everything that came after? Having the ability to fight through tough times is part of one's character, I would say. (Personal opinion only, of course.) As for our vision, that's always changing, isn't it.

Going to Vilcabamba may have been another turning point for you - but maybe that followed on from some earlier decision. What prompted you to go there? My son and his girlfriend were on the hippy trail down there for a time 16 years ago, and my wife (his mother) visited them there. Becoming a hippy could be considered a turning point of his life, but I that decision really just followed his random decision a couple of years earlier, to "turn left at Galveston". But I could be wrong about that, too! Maybe even that had its genesis in dropping out of college years before that.

Gordon Barlow :
AllieTea :

I have had many turning points, and I don’t mind being public about my own obstacles because we all have them in different forms, but mine began when my mother inherited books from a family member who passed away. At age 9, I began reading philosophical books, like “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen. During difficult times, I spent my childhood reading, reflecting (a lot) journaling, and writing.

A drastic turning point happened when I fell in love with the wrong person... However, the real, peak turning point for me was after I left him, which felt like climbing the highest mountain in my mind/body/spirit towards my inner freedom, I had many “spiritual” breakthrough experiences that were ...like a literal Heaven on Earth, one in which changed me forever.

I feel like the process of my life has been fighting for inner freedom and peace, all of which is freely given to each one of us; I suppose now I’m working on my vision.

[Also, visiting Peru and living in many USA states really opened my vision as well].

Hi Allie, I can see that your mother's inheritance was a sure turning point, and also your leaving your first husband; but was getting married the first time a true turning point, in that it changed your life in a way that influenced everything that came after? Having the ability to fight through tough times is part of one's character, I would say. (Personal opinion only, of course.) As for our vision, that's always changing, isn't it.

Going to Vilcabamba may have been another turning point for you - but maybe that followed on from some earlier decision. What prompted you to go there? My son and his girlfriend were on the hippy trail down there for a time 16 years ago, and my wife (his mother) visited them there. Becoming a hippy could be considered a turning point of his life, but I that decision really just followed his random decision a couple of years earlier, to "turn left at Galveston". But I could be wrong about that, too! Maybe even that had its genesis in dropping out of college years before that.

Hi there Gordon,

I didn't get married to him. I was at the time in my life when I was looking for a serious and long-term relationship, in which case I gave way too much devotion to someone who inevitably did not have my best interest in mind nor did he have self-control over his emotions, which was derived from his childhood trauma. Basically, I was naive at the time, thinking that love itself could change things around [possibly it can, but not with him], but still ironically love did change things around for me, but it just wasn't "my egoic vision" with him, but another type of love and healing revealed itself to me later from my own open heart. For the first time, I poured my everything into someone, but I believe that eventually that man would have killed me [he had major anger issues]. You could say it was a very character building scenario. I even ended up being homeless for several months as well, after my dog died and a roommate off craigslist bailed on rent in the same month. That was another turning point and character building moment. Truly, I was way too trusting of other people, which was my real problem.

Also, I went to Lima, Peru, not Vilcabamba yet [I've researched and read on Vilcabamba for years, but it's a plan to go and feel it out]. My initial attraction to Vilcabamba was due to the expat scene there and the beauty, but honestly I've really outgrown that "hippy mindset" in many ways. I'm less of a hippy and more of an open-minded person, with the belief that people should live their lives as they please, but always with respect to others. I did, however, at one point have a truck camper with plans to live and travel around the USA, but it was terribly hot and parking via campsites was much more expensive than anticipated, plus the truck ended up breaking down. Regardless, I originally went to Peru with intentions to stay for a while, sold everything of mine, but that same boyfriend was way too afraid to step outside of his comfort zone and find a job. Instead, I flew back to the states and continued the relationship [sad face]. Another turning point, haha! I more closely notice red flags in people now versus viewing traits as weaknesses or "character flaws." Seeing a person's potential is one thing, but seeing things for what they actually are is the real truth.

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