We like to joke that, “The best part of living in Europe is: you’re close to the rest of Europe.” That’s our cute little, hopelessly self-absorbed, First World privilege way of saying “we love to travel. Ask us where we’ve been.”
As I’ve said before, it’s hard not to feel good about living abroad. But, lately, it’s struck me that, for people who like to travel, being an immigrant is also a kind of slow torture. It’s so very close to that thing you love, but still quite removed.
Living in Dublin, and thanks to a slurry of low cost carriers, we can be almost anywhere in Western Europe in about two hours. But, now, three years into living abroad, we are immersed in the daily slog, Irish style. Money and time are once again at a premium just as new commitments are mounting.
If you love to travel, presumably you like exploring new places, meeting new people, trying new foods, and generally having adventures. All of those things are still doable for us without ever leaving Ireland. Remember we had decades to learn about the United States. So now, in order to keep up with our local friends, we’re cramming 40+ years of cultural learning curve into just a few years.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not in any way painful, it’s just a different travel experience. Yet we do sacrifice the other part of the “traveler’s dream”. We don’t move around as much as we might like, or as much as we fantasized we would when we finally, “broke free and decided to live the dream of moving overseas”.
This post probably seems a bit schizophrenic. But then for folks who love travel, living abroad is more than a bit schizophrenic. “Home” is not home anymore, yet you’re not a local either. And once you’ve settled in, you probably aren’t going to be quite the vagabond traveler you envisioned either.
As an emigrant/immigrant who loves to travel you just may find the world tantalizingly, maddeningly close, yet still so far away.
Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:
Finding the “Right” City For You