Community, countries and my international friends: a shout out.
It was, as usual – the most random time to think of something deep – me staring at Elizabeth Hurley’s swimwear collection on Instagram. That woman refuses to age and I admire that, because she also seems to look sweeter with age (or maybe that’s just the makeup talking). But she also has the balls to design stuff and appear in her own collection. She is well known for being a hot, classy thing.
It was in that moment something clicked in my head, and it could have been the little chat I had with my Japanese Australian friend who’s making big decisions about her life in Peru.
While telling me her experiences working in a Japanese association doing a physio program in the city had not met her expectations and isolated, even saddened her –
She asked, – how do you manage moving here and there, different countries, different communities?
That was a bloody good question.
To even dive into an epic love affair with life and go flying around, trying to learn languages and studying and working ‘abroad’ – you can’t think twice.
I guess this is typical Aries territory but I have to confess I did some calculative risk management before I stepped anywhere. As in, can I be antisocial for a while – can I completely change my world and start life all over again? I tested my own limits and beliefs without realizing it until the end.
Like travelling semi permanently to Switzerland; going back to Australia for family Christmas and staying down under.
I said – even to this guy I’ve been talking to – my main motivation was family(post). I got a chance at staying in the same country as them and I took it, come what may.
Now looking at some of my buddies, I am absolutely not unique on this level. I know a few Mexicans who travelled for love – or to use their French heritage to stay in Paris – and they have some of the most amazing beliefs I’ve come across. Japanese people who decided come hell or high water, they will go overseas to do what they love or at least find themselves (like my friend above tried), a close Chinese girlfriend who left for Switzerland to study and work in order to broaden her horizons for life – a French ex workmate who came to Australia on a plan of a few months of student visa only to find himself with a girlfriend, 4 jobs and 4 years of living in Sydney… and a plan to propose and start amazing things in the next year.
Far out, the more I reflect the more I realize how many of my friends are exactly like me, in the pursuit of surviving – getting inspired – and finding themselves.
But that doesn’t answer how I managed to find my communities, because at first I didn’t and it sucked balls. I didn’t actually have a community out of desire, more out of survival in the first couple of years. I found myself in random company like neighbours kids – language course members – my stepdad’s ex colleague’s girlfriend’s daughter (try saying that in German….lol)
Then … things improved. At the start of my master I made friends with a Bosnian chick who I had a lot in common. She could be dominating in some aspects but made up for that with trying to socialize with anyone, helping with assignments and generally caring. Then second year of master came and went, doom and gloom came in because I had to manage a huge workload (with the rest of my classmates) and get around with just one or two people I barely knew. We were fried by the time Christmas came and the break wasn’t enough. Then things dramatically lifted when we had a couple of parties by summer, finishing field projects which drained us of time and morals – meaning everyone was going to someone’s party by the time it reached a beautifully humid 27 degrees and June was coming to an end.
For me, this meant seeing old friends I knew from my first year of masters, and getting plenty of attention from some mesmerized Latin men (about whom I wrote in these posts:What to do when a Latino approaches you , Spell Broken: My Non-Type Kissed Me and Dating the Player).
Ironically it was a period when, on the same day that my group made a report and delivered an impressive presentation to a big beer corporation, I found I couldn’t care less about my love life any more and was simply fatigued. So I decided ‘no more guy stuff’. That period of time actually includes a couple of hook ups with Swiss German guys which freaked me out more than they continued. (so a few hook ups in the space of a month just because I let go of expectations)
But most importantly the consistent parties with a certain Spanish guy which motivated me to cross the country in the summer – to party it up – led me to finally live on a level I liked. Because of this guy and his network and the warm blooded friends who went to all our parties, I realized that’s what I needed the whole time and had no idea. Mostly because I was surrounded by the exact opposite company. Meaning, stiffer culture living on schedules and ‘private’ time.
In other words, I never managed anything.
I dived, survived, learned and kept going. And I finally put my foot down for stability (post) a drama free life, free myself from all the issues I had in the past (post) and just live for a bit. I’m gathering up to 8 or 10 people so that they can meet up – my inner circle – next month and then potentially again for my birthday.
My last point, to all my international people is this –
Whether or not your experiences met your expectations (or you had none to begin with) know that you came away stronger than before, smacked into mistakes and learned and most importantly, you’re a bucket of knowledge. Being on the edge of 2 or 3 worlds can be a beautiful thing because we already have a community of people that love the outside world and at the same time find their home to be dull at times, and there’s a reason for that.
Much love and hugs, I know you’re reading … x Anna