Why do we like some places? Because of beautiful architecture? Stunning landscapes? Interesting people? Probably the mixture of it all, however, I have noticed that myself I can’t actually explain why I like some places more than other. Usually because I had some really good moments there that I’d like to remember or come back to. Sometimes, because of the stunning places that make me feel peacuful or give me some inspiration on what I would like to be doing. Other times simply because it made me feel good. Why? I have no idea.
I have decided to share those thoughts, not because I am now going to touch the most obvious and re-written subject of any expat/travel blogger – ‘why did I end up here?’. I am living in Italy for four months now. Already and only. I have noticed that I still feel as if I were a tourist myself. Figuring out my life is possibly getting slower than it should go in some areas, but faster in others. Maybe this is called a balance? Or simply reality.
Realizing that you can’t call any place your current home is a bit difficult. When people ask me where am I from it usually depends on with who I speak. With Polish people – ‘I am from Jaworze.’, with Italians – ‘Polish but I live in Como.’, others – ‘It is complicated.’ followed by laughter. In the end it is probably simpler than I present it, but I just tend to overcomplicate things. However, the observation syndrome is my super-power, so I have noticed few things, that change a person that lives abroad and there’s no coming back. So having said that, maybe I should mention the ‘Heart of Darkness’ that popped up some time ago in one of my posts? What do I mean? Let’s focus on Why theoretically speaking you shouldn’t become an expat?
Have you ever thought that you are fed up with your Family and Friends? They pissed you off and you feel like #idgaf (i don’t give a f*ck – if you missed previous posts). Of course you did. Who didn’t? Being an expat – first weeks, if you are lucky and everything goes smoothly, you enjoy the freedom and independency. Then you realize that a homemade soup is a pretty decent Sunday dinner and definitely tastes better than defrosted pizza with some vegetables of uncertain origin with a dose of flavor mainly composed of E ingredients. Then you have first major problem. WTF. You need your Mum’s advice, Dad’s superhero ability to fix everything and Friends’ skill to take out this crazy and stupid idea from your head. How do you end up? Playing avoidance. Having broken fridge for a week and asking yourself why have you done something. Should you regret it? No. Just enjoy every minute of it. This is your own script of your own life. Let’s 0call it Your Name – A series of Unfortunate Events.
Weekend in a new place. You go shopping. You go travelling. You go out. You want to share those moments with your best friends, but you can’t. You will have those moments when you will simply feel lonely. No matter how many new people you have met, you would really like to find this one or two people that you can text anytime about a small stupid thing. And no. I don’t mean to get into relationship and create a family – I would say the opposite. To actually find someone completely objective but fully understanding your position, desires and complexity of life choices – yes, even groceries in a new country is like a big maze. But hey – before you meet this person – trust me. You will feel lonely. No matter how often you go out and how much time you spend on the phone texting. In the end it is the real contact here and now that you need in your new home. Let’s play Finding Nemo.
You have met this great and best friend. Then you move to another country or he/she does. You both try to make it work. You text. Less and less. You stop. Well, I hope you didn’t expect that all of your relationships will last forever. They won’t. As an expat you should really realize that as soon as possible and not feel guilty that some things simply don’t work out. Long distance relationships are maybe even more difficult for friendships than the romantic ones. The second ones – you kind of feel more obliged to take care of them, whereas the first ones, you potentially could put on the second track. (I don’t say you should. You actually should not.) Please don’t make your life the How to lose Friends and alienate People kind of thing, but do text a bit more and show a bit of attention if you care. If you don’t. Just leave it. Be honest with yourself and the other human being.
Short one. Can you have a dog? No. Can you have a cat? No. Unless, you are lucky and you work from home, but then why would you move 1,2k km away? So in the end, you can’t have a pet. Welcome to the Castaway.
You feel like moving abroad is like running away from your problems. Is it really? Is the whole moving part worth it? Probably not, but you realize it too late. Then you do the same mistake? Simply speaking – you got addicted to being on the move. Always being in trouble of settling yourself but also having this amazing feeling of the blank page. Now, admit it. How often could you do that? Neverending story.
Does it sound scary? Did I put you off from moving abroad or made you think like why the hell she said recently she was actually happy? I am happy. I am very happy, because if you read those paragraphs again and think about actually how much you are learning from all of those obstacles, you realize that living abroad is something everyone should at least try. To get to know yourself. To get to know your real friends. To get to know new people. To get to know new places and appreciate your previous homes. In the end it is all worth a hassle and despite having your ass kicked, you will actually get much more benefits from the situation. Above all you will learn how not to be lonely when you’re alone.