The problem with moving is you are always somewhere else. You always have one foot where you are and another in mid air ready to move forward. You can pretty much think of home as a bunch of selected places.
But for the first time in my life, I lack an anchor. When my mother rented out the house in El Salvador, I was left feeling like my navigational SAT Nav went a bit wonky. I always knew I could go home, no matter if I was in an indigenous Radio in Ecuador, studying in below freezing temperatures in Ecuador or whatever else was happening. There was always home to go back to. But now, I don’t have that anymore.
Trying to get my bearings has been a long and painful process. It’s odd going through all the seasons of the year without knowing I would go back to the tropical sun. The problem is, being in between, sometimes you are never satisfied with anything. People back home tell me, it must be amazing to live in Europe.
But what people don’t realize is that you can get used to anything. After the novelty wears off, you are still the same person and sometimes you deal with the same tests. Here are a couple great things about living in Europe :
Getting on a train and not worrying about getting mugged
Walking at night and not worrying about getting mugged
Unlimited amount of books that are available
Parks and lakes
Cheap flight tickets
The ability to meet people , all the time
All kinds of bottles!
Warm hot bubble baths!
Pampered cats and dogs!
No stomache problems !
The cute British accent
The wonderful architecture
No one ever bothers you or is in your life
Here are some things that go old after awhile :
The trains and underground- incredibly slow ( and expensive)
The cold – it just doesn’t stop
People fussing over dogs
The cold – and I am not talking about the weather
Formality and bureacracy
Here are some things I miss about Latin America :
Knowing people forever and knowing that you can call them and they know how to comfort you
The predictability of things
The warmth of people
The sun basking on my face
The hard and tumultous rain which always gives way to the smell of wet earth
However there are things that drive me up the wall :
The fact that everyone is in your life, all the time and forever. Amen. ( Case in point : Your news will always be known even before you get to announce it yourself. I found out my friend had a baby the minute she had it and it was through her cousin’s mother’s sister’s friend).
The warmth of the climate
The mugging and the violence!
My point is, everything, afterawhile will get old. Life is just not exciting all the time. You will feel lonely, unhappy , sad in any situation. The best thing is to make the most of what you have and live intensely. If you are moving to somewhere else the worst thing you can do is compare. The place you are living will never ever live up to that comparison. As time passes, you begin to think of your homeland in rose tinted , puffy lalala contexts. You think it can do no wrong. I have seen many a person get out of the plane to El Salvador, their hearts raised with hope just to realize that their house isn’t as big as they remembered, people who used to be their friends don’t have time or remember them and it is far hotter and harder to live there than they thought.
No place is magical. What we have to see is ” How much of the bad can I deal with”…because to be honest, that was one of the main reasons for going to all those conferences was to see a place where I can truly say ” Hey I can stay for a long period of time”…. To Be Continued…