I often think of a year of time as both a blink of the ojo and an enduring and satisfying viaje. I feel that sometimes when looking back, those 365 days were a series of breaths, and I have exhaled to where I stand in this present moment. But when I really take the time to savor the moments lived, the juicy and ecstatic moments lived over a beautiful cycle, which I’ll call a year, I understand how much I have actually grown, changed and felt throughout that cycle in my life. November 24th marks two years Abroad as an Expat, and I have all the feels. Two years is huge. Two years is a curious and out of control toddler; two years is a comfy pair of shoes broken-in just so; two years is a trial-run turned “serious relationship”. Now to fill you in a bit on what I have learned while living abroad for the second year.
What made you go? What makes you stay “Abroad”?
Initially it was this feeling, this unfinished business I had in España and Europe. Soon it would become evident that I needed the physical distance from family/friends and the familiar… to begin to come into my own. Change it up. New scenery. New allies. New challenges. New coordinates from which to do the work, that soul work. Taking the opportunity to live and work in Europe opened the travel realm of possibility for me. I saved up funds enough for various trips in Europe, as well as Morocco and Israel. I tested myself on some of these travels, my quests to see beauty and learn through landscape, scents, sky, and language, etc. Every place has its lessons. California and its surrounding gave me 28 years of lessons that I have in my arsenal, but I am certain this grander world has more sprinkled throughout the lands. Every trip has brought me a little closer to myself, though physically farther from many that I love.
What do you do when you feel lonely/do you feel homesick?
I think back to the past, where many warm memories were made. I can play with them in my vivid mindspace, thinking about the people that I’ve shared joy and life’s sweetest moments with, as well as other less sweet moments. I play with the full spectrum. I also think to the future days we will spend together, co-creating somewhere else in the world. I am fully confident that those who have a soul connection with me will find their way to me, and I to them. Homesick? I feel nostalgic about the familiarity of people and things, routines and comforts in Los Angeles. I miss the fact that I never felt lonely in the city where all my family resides, where a meal and conversation was always an option. I miss the presence and energy of my family, and our conversations, and our silences. I miss the endless love of my dogs too.
Do you have a community abroad, a tight group of friends for support?
I was talking about this with a new friend just last week about where “home” is and what “community” looks like for me since I’ve been in Spain. I admitted that my relationships back in California have changed a lot because the distance does inevitably change things. A phonecall or a videocall have to be planned in advance taking into account time zones and schedules, and so that organic feeling of I’m thinking of so-and-so I’m going to call them or drive over to their house and see them, it just doesn’t exist. And the busier we are, the more we have to catch up on in each others lives when we do speak or dare I say, see each other (no one made it out to visit me in Spain during my second school year teaching, but I did visit CA for 6 weeks this summer), and it’s almost like you can never really catch up. Too much has happened. Many big moments are missed, only lived through social media and word of mouth tidings. Moments of unraveling in emotional states that need a close friend and ally’s encouragement also come to pass, the advice and support of those far away not always arriving in time.
With all that said, I have created a community abroad, though it may not be a typical one. Mine is spread out over many countries. Mine is made up of beautiful souls that I resonate with, though far off (often planes, trains and buses away), they have become more people I love and I trust in the world. These people have listened to my deepest thoughts and the day-to-day bullshit ponderings too, and shared some of their own with me. Life and its meaning, love and its place and qualities, and the gift of the Present have been discussed times over, and I never grow tired of going deep with another. Synchronistic encounters continue showing me that we are connected to others throughout the world, and having an open heart and mind to welcome them is key.
Now that you have been away for 2 years, will you ever move back?
I am no oracle, and I don’t like to plan too far ahead. When we are doing exactly what we set out to do, living our purest purpose, the Wind whispers to guide with next steps. A permanent home? I’m not so concerned with that part of my future yet. Right now I am content with traveling to connect with my own personal power, my goddess and my magic. In the process I have also encountered so many others who color my world, my time here, and that is what I will focus on.
WORLD, You are the greatest teacher of lessons
Current Location: Estoy en España todavía/ I am still in Spain
More Precise Location: la isla de Majorca/ the island of Mallorca
Current job: develop, grow, question, encounter, try, fail, experience, meditate, live, love
*Ay y también me pagan cómo profesora de Inglés en un colegio de Primaria/ Oh yea and I also get paid to Teach English in a Primary School
Expected stay in Mallorca: Hasta Junio del 2018/ Until June 2018
With another CYCLE ready to bite the dust, and 2018 on the horizon, I’ll be reflecting more on the 2017 cycle and sharing my favorite moments and photos for my YEAR IN RECAP POST. I’m so grateful for the year that it’s been, and humbled by all of you that share this space with me.