World citizen. Sounds fancy doesn’t it ? the more I live in Amsterdam , more people like me I meet. And believe me- I love it because of this very fast click between us. Fast click? Yeaa we kinda have the same things in common, we had to leave our ‘mother country’ when we both were quite young, we started to explore the world and we are always ready for spontaneous trip anywhere.
If you recognize this behavior, please PM me haha J
Saying honestly, I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot since a few months already, especially since last august when I moved to Amsterdam. There is no day when I am not asked
“ where are you from ? “ and then everybody can see this little smile on my face… why? Because it is really hard to define where I am from since my heart is divided around the word. Born in Germany, then lived in Poland, then moved to Colombia where I made family & friends who are from every part of the world, then the Netherlands, where now I am starting to making really good friends… and next half year, from September I will move to Bangkok for the next 6 months. So… WHERE AM I FROM? The answer isn’t easy at all. they say that you are from where your family is.. but.. no, i don not agree at all. Having very important people on every continent in the world doesn’t help at all to define this question. But what is more, I realized that I am not the only one, I meet more and more people who have the same issues. Last week, I met a really nice guy who is German, left piece of his heart in Mexico and another part in China and now he lives in NL.. We were laughing how difficult is define “where are we from”?
Of course there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of this situation. The advantages are pretty clear; being open minded, knowing perception of different cultures, knowing how to behave when cultures collide, having family and friends around the glob, non stop traveling etc… however I have noticed that no one never talks about disadvantages which occur after a while, when being abroad for a longer time.. and this you have to keep in mind, if you decide to leave your home country to discover a world ( especially when you are very young, like I was 15 when I decided to take my future in my hands and discover the world )
When you are teenager you don’t really realize how much you need your home, parents, friends from local high school… you would like to escape as far as possible to not be bored anymore at one place you live longer than you want to. So the next step, very easy one actually is to find organization with which you will go abroad for a specific period of time. Then the last one, you finally pack your suitcase, crying, cause you are not sure anymore if you want to do it, if this all is worth it all, you have doubts… but you have your ticket, your host family is waiting for you and what is more… the world is waiting for you. After the last hugs at the airport, after 15 hours of flight you are finally there and then every doubt you had, suddenly doesn’t exist anymore. Why? Because you are at new place, you want to know yourself better, finally you are on your own. That’s actually what I felt when I arrived in Cucuta, Colombia in 2011.
Bet let me be honest and talk in present, 2015.
As I mentioned before, it is really hard to answer the question regarding my nationality. Of course my passport is Polish, but my heart is everywhere. Is it good or is it bad ? the opinions are divided. I cannot deny the fact that it was too early to leave home, cause right now I really don’t know where is my home. Of course my biological parents and siblings live in Poland so I should call Poland home, but I don’t. I have too many feelings towards other people and I feel connected to so many other different places and countries that I just don’t have one home. And again the question, is it good or is it bad ? or maybe this is my destiny. To travel, to discover and do not wonder about the things that ‘normal’ people do ? I think it should be my answer. On the other hand, the older I am , the more I think about settling down. Ok, I am just 21 this year but believe me , it is heartbreaking seeing my friends or my 2nd halves to leave to another country or to their home countries. What is more, I have also noticed that if I have to express myself in one sentence it would be “ non stop looking ‘
‘ non stop looking ‘ for what ? yeah, I cannot answer this question now, but it is true, I am non stop looking for something I haven’t defined yet.
Especially now, in April there is a period when your finals are coming and you think about having a gap year and going abroad to find and explore sth new. Right? Think about it as for defined period of time, one year , few months and you will be back, fully ready to study. But is it true? That after months on the other continent with totally different people you can just like that come back to your home country and start living as you lived before ? NO. trust me and other exchange students I talk to.. that this is not possible at all. once you decided to leave your home for longer than just holidays, then you will never come back the same person. unless you did not like the hosts, country or new culture.. then you will be homesick and want to come back home asap. And actually this version happens in 80% of people who decide to have a gap year in totally different culture. Why does it happen so often? because not everyone is ready for it or born to do it. and there is nothing wrong with that. trust me, nothing wrong. People with a strong sense of home and home country do not fall into other countries and other 'families' as people like me. Example; my exchange year in Colombia. We were 12 exchange students in my city, around 60 exchange students in Colombia ( mostly from Europe and USA ) and believe me or not.. only I came back twice per year, only I have a strong relationship with my family and friends there, only I fell into Colombianos and only I want to do something big for this country ( secret for now ) only I am crazy and skype every sunday, only I come back for every Xmas leaving my biological family to spend this magical time with people who fell into me and I fell into them. logical? not for everyone... but this is just an example. It has nothing in common with easily adaptation in other country, but with a heart and personality. People who know me well, they know how hard is being me. Recently I was asked a question " How is being you, Natalia " ? so now I can ask you the same question... I am not going to answer here, but please, think about yourself..
so.. HOW IS BEING YOU?
More thoughts regarding being a ‘ world citizen’ will come..
But in a meanwhile..
If you ever spent in Bangkok more than a month, not as a tourist, please shoot me an email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) with some tips. I am going there by the end of September and will be under contract of the W hotel. I will very appreciate anything you can tell me about this city or in general south Asia as I have never been in this part of the world.
Have a nice weekun beso