Over the last 3 years I have been privileged enough to have travelled to more or less 23 countries. I have completely, head-over-heels fallen in love with travelling, if it was free – you would probably never see me again!
The reason I think it’s so addictive is because you get to insert yourself into someone else’s shoes and just for a moment you get to experience what its like to see the world from their point of view. Whether it is drinking a Belgium beer, riding a gondola in Venice, scaling the wall in Dubrovnik or attending a food festival in France – it’s all new and makes you feel a part of something.
The beauty of it though, is that its all ‘moments’ that you share. When you actually have to move to another country and live and work there it’s completely different. I find myself often planning trips to travel to other states in America, just so that I can experience that ‘moment’ again.
I have always have the ability to adapt quickly to my circumstances but living in another country has been harder than expected. I struggle everyday to adapt to the American culture, to their values and point of view.
When I first arrived, the airline lost my luggage, the HR gave me the wrong apartment number and everything was very expensive and it was so extremely hot in Key West. After all the struggle and finally settling in to the right apartment and receiving my luggage I felt a little bit more content.
The first few days you kind of just find your way, purchase a lot of things that you think you need and then settle when you finally have a purpose and routine.
It’s not actually the small trivial stuff and settling in that’s the hard part, its adapting with the people. I am used to live in a city and here its more like a small town. The number of good friends I have, I can count on one hand and their values are similar to mine. Here everything is kind of different.
Friendship are more based on “what can you do for me” than actual companionship. At the end of the day I found that people who I have met and been friends with here for over 7 months will always do what benefit themselves more than think of me in the process. Don’t get me wrong you do find those rare gem’s that is worth it, but other than that friendship might just be one of the hardest things to achieve here and perhaps in life.
Out of all the people I know here, I think perhaps only 1 will reach out to me when I move back (and she’s not even from America). If anyone else reached out it would be rare. I am not being cynical but my experiences here with friends have just taught me to know better.
I think that once you are able to accept people and their habits and know what is ‘real’ and ‘not real’ only then will it be easier to live in a different place/country. Perhaps at the end of the day it does come down to being open to accept that sometimes the place you live in and people you know does not define you.
Living here in America has just opened my eyes and honestly it was much harder than I thought. Took me almost 3 months just to figure out the pace of life. Now that I have lived and worked abroad I must say, I prefer travelling and coming back home.