Most blogs seems to cover practical issues as well as feelings of homesickness, then tons of photos as the ex-pat blues fade and adventure takes their place but I haven’t seen much coverage of the emotional response of the friends and family members of people who decide to move abroad.
From some people I’ve received a feedback close to anger, a lashing out related to abandonment. There is personal offense as if my decision to leave is because I don’t like people here. Others still have that famous Richmond-pride and personify Richmond, taking offense for her that I’m unconvinced this town in the happiest place on earth.
A more common reaction, especially amongst relatives is something along the lines of “You’re so brave!” which leads me to ask myself, am I? I see this more as seeking a thrill to jolt me out of my southeastern United States lens. Is that bravery? Or just being 22?
The next question is “Are you excited?” Yes! And scared shitless! Thank you for asking!
I’ve always idolized the Lost Generation, American writers and artists who flocked to Europe in the early 20th century. Many of them found that they had to seek refuge outside of the United States in order to correctly see themselves, their hometowns, their country, and write, as Hemingway put it, honestly. This is closely related to my reasons for moving to Asia–not really to reinvent myself, but to explore my personality and goals beyond perceptions people have held about me since grade school or as far back as birth.
On a secondary note, I’m really intrigued about people’s preconceived idea of Americans and on a tertiary topic, the difference in media coverage, especially of Middle East relations.
I got a pretty big surprise when my phone rang and it was the Korean embassy calling to schedule an interview for TOMORROW. I bumbled through confirming I’d be there tomorrow at 2:30–I was in shock! People use the term “opportunity of a lifetime” and this is really truly it. When I first started drafting this entry over the weekend, I was fairly nonchalant about my decision to move across the world but now that I am at the absolute last step, it’s feeling really real.