Sunday, June 06, 2010

Things Lost while Living Abroad

If anyone had the patience to listen, I could spend days writing about all of the benefits and joys that living abroad has blessed me with.

Today though I want to ask, "What has living abroad taken away from me?"

This is not meant to be a negative pessimistic post. Nor is it meant to be an ungrateful post. It is just a reality check. As much as living abroad is an extremely positive, life changing, evolving as a human being, experience there are also things that you lose while living abroad. These losses though, do not keep me from staying another year making it a total of five years in Peace Corps. The benefits and joys are worth my time abroad.

What has living abroad taken?

Living abroad has taken away

1. opportunities that the USA provides like rugby, art, theater, concerts, festivals, poetry slams, coffee shops.

2. the freedom to be me without hiding parts since some parts aren't accepted in the cultures that I am living in.

3. a sense of closeness with family, friends, lovers, relationships who are still in the states.

4. my ability not to be a a wallflower at parties. I have become more afraid of making small talk with western strangers. I had been practicing to be more extroverted while in the states. These days I have turned into an extreme introvert whenever I am around fellow Americans. Back in the states I was really practicing and working on trying to be more extroverted. Here in China, I can't practice because I am rarely around big groups of Americans.

Living abroad has also taken me away from the life path of starting a career, a family, a mortgage, and a retirement fund. Good thing those things aren't a priority for me.

What has living abroad given and taken from you?

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