Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nomadic lives in the 21st century

In the previous post I left you, back in your own country, struggling with contrasting feelings. You are finally back home and your life abroad now seems like a dream. You wake up in the morning believing you are still on the other side of the ocean. For a while you will be confused about the "heres" and "theres", constantly comparing the two realities. If you allow me the expression, like all re-pats you feel geographically confused. But the best has yet to come. 
It has been hard to leave a place we started considering home and it is even harder to get back to the old one we left in the first place. Depending on many variables, some will resume their life very smoothly and successfully. They have a place where they can return and a job awaiting them. An international classmate from Turkey spent the most two miserable years of her life studying for her Master. She was ill most of the time and felt homesick; however, she managed to finish the program and back in her country she just thrived. Without that piece of paper probably she wouldn't have got the job she was offered. But as far as I know she has been living...happily ever after. And that is the best ending, or better beginning, I wish for all the re-pats that still haven't found their own place.
For a good deal of re-pats it is difficult to adjust to life back at home. We are overloaded with experiences that estranged us in many ways. Getting in touch with some of our comfort zones will somehow ease our transition from the Promised Land we desperately believed in to our own place. Nonetheless, the familiar environment which has provided a safe haven where we could recover, now it might start shrinking on us. So what happens if you don't fall back in the old pattern and you start getting restless again? That's a sign you might be considering packing again, right when you thought you were done with it! There is nothing wrong with you; in fact, a quiet period at home allows you not only to elaborate on your previous experience, learning a great deal from it but also to start reassessing your goals. It simply means that after putting your life on pause, you are ready to take it back and most importantly, you haven't given up your dreams of personal and professional fulfillment.
Moreover, on a more scientific tone, I vaguely remember someone telling me that according to a recent survey a person takes on average up to 7 years and 2 or 3 relocations before settling down. If that were the case, you must feel relieved to know that your case could be part of this statistics. A dear friend of mine left her native country, Poland, to relocate abroad. She has moved to several countries within Europe and in one of those she experienced a very tough time. Hence, she decided to go back to Poland for a while, but she realized it didn't work out for her. She is still on the move, searching for a place of her own, with her qualifications but no job prospect yet. Modern emigrants share the same path in their own solitary quest for happiness abroad, bouncing from one country to the next in search of a dream all of their own. The world has become either too small or too crowded for the rolling stones of our time: not-so-young now qualified people, with a multitude of degrees, working experiences and language skills that are not fully acknowledged.

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