I arrived in Brunei, naturally, in a pretty bad mood. Even though I was in a bad mood, one of the things that stood out to me the most was the large areas of greenery around us.

Keep in mind that we weren’t staying in a big city; rather, we were on the outskirts, as you might expect. Even though I’m not a city girl, the greenery eventually calmed my nerves.

After a week, I started interacting with the people around me. Locals and fellow expats went out of their way to make me feel at ease. We explored more as I became more at ease. We trekked—yes, even while I was pregnant! We embraced the local cuisine and joined the board game community.

When it came time to leave three months later, I was reluctant to leave the welcoming country I had temporarily called home.