One of the things that comes to my mind when I think of all the travelling I’ve done over the years, is that you can plan and prepare as much as you like, but you just never know what’s in store! And the most important thing for me is FLEXIBILITY!
I´ve lived and worked in a few different countries … In reality, I’ve lived half of my life out of Ireland.
Ireland will always be home but home is also where I live and currently I call Mexico City home.
Before Mexico City there was Stockholm, London, Ireland, Cyprus for a season, New York for a summer and L.A. intermittently for longer stints of work.
Through those periods of life and career, the moving to another country was always part of a life decision or a career / educational one. So I would move because of a partner, an education or a curiosity to know somewhere different.
Living in other countries other than my birth country has and probably always will be something I will never fully get used to 100%, but have grown accustomed to in many ways. That´s not to say that I don’t enjoy it 🙂
Calling somewhere home but still being considered the ¨foreigner¨ or as it´s called in spanish ¨extranjera¨ or ¨stranger¨ by the locals, well it is what it is.
When one lives in a different country, you are certainly no longer a tourist! But you will never quite be a native no matter how long you stay. And I had to come to accept that early on, as struggling with it, meant that I would somehow have to relinquish my own culture and part of my forever identity.
Even when I return to Ireland, albeit familiar and comfortable in so many ways, I am still not 100% at home anymore. I AM at home in the sense that my family is there and I have some friends that still remain, however, at the same time, I am also only visiting when I am there and so that too brings with it a sense of non-belonging.
It’s a strange inexplicable sensation to be honest. Those who have lived in many places and speak different languages will relate.
Would I have done things differently? NO! But all the same, it does make me wonder who I would be had I not made these choices..
From an early age I always knew I was going to travel, speak languages other than English (much to my french teacher’s disbelief!) and most of all experience the world while traveling and working! With a continued curiosity to understand and to know more I ventured off on a one year tour at the tender age of 18 for the first time.
And what about now, here in Mexico City. Well, after over five years I can finally call it home. I speak enough Spanish to manage my life and work. My career has decided to take new flight and lots of interesting opportunities have come my way since arriving here in the middle of 2010. So here is my PRESENT, my HOME and my NOW.
Albeit one of the biggest cities of the world, there is still the possibility of finding local, sensing familiar and not become overwhelmed all the time by the traffic, pollution, over population and everything else that’s challenging with living in a huge metropolis.
So lessons learned… stay open, without feeling like you´ve lost a sense of identity. Stay flexible in a way that you are not limited by a tunnel vision of how things ¨should¨ be according to how you grew up. And all of this in a health and moderate way so that there’s still a love for the new and unpredictable and a love for the old and predictable.
Whether it´s trying a new local food dish or trying an exotic fruit in the caribbean… or settling in with a nice cup of tea in front of the fire watching the Late Late Show at home … They are all pleasures and ones to treasure 🙂
I continue on this quest for more and this curiosity for learning about new experiences and I hope to see a few more places in the next few years…
Travel Bucket List : AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, MACHU PICHU PERU, INDIA, THAILAND, TAHITI, HAWAII & more parts of Ireland and Mexico!