Thursday, August 08, 2013

Leaving the "Mangú" behind to go abroad



Many people wonder why others leave their hometowns if they have a “confi” bed, a “decent” income, live in “dream countries” with amazing beaches, or whatever that might sound reasonable. 

Perhaps because of the need to learn new things, to gain independence, to discover cultures, to start thinking “out-of-the-box” (being the box: your hometown and the people that live there), to break the “path/trend” of doing what culture imposes (being the trend: having kids at age +21 and/or marring, forming a family you don’t truly want at that time).

The truth is that, well, there is no good answer to that question as we all leave for our own personal reasons and pursuing different purposes.

Us, We (or what I like to call it), the “world travelers” are not a weird human kind.  We are more common than we might think.  We are not more special than others, we just choose a different way of living. 

Do we risk more?  Are we really more open minded than the rest?  Who knows!  We shouldn't be the ones judging that.  But, as I say this, I must also say that I do believe we are a bit more “market sexy”.

When you go to countries where you know someone and you speak the same language, the transition happens to be softer.

 During the first month, you start by missing “your people” but somehow with time this feeling smooths and you handle it because it is a new experience, you start discovering places, your mind is always busy and up to something.  It is a natural process. 

If you start dating, then your priorities change and you can either settle down or take your partner into your travelling path.  For people that work for NGOs, apparently, the second one is commonly seen. 

When you go to countries where you know no one and you don’t speak the same language, the transition time is slower, tougher but gives more satisfaction.

You are in a constant learning / discovering process.  Your eyes are open to everything that is around.  Local people’s expressions, where to go, what to do, you are always reading magazines or going online to find out what is going to be the next step/activity you will do. 

You find yourself doing things you have never thought of, as you need to make new friends (obviously!  Life must always be lived in society). 

You find yourself dancing to new beats, eating “jelly” seafood, going to foreigner groups (to have a drink, to practice the little you have learned of the local language or only to have an oasis and hopefully you will find someone that speak yours). 

You go to diving classes, although you have always feared the ocean, the dependency on a bottle of oxygen.  But is new! Exciting! Risky! Sexy!

In both cases, you are always struggling with cultural matters, and I think this is the best (most interesting) part.

Your mind is trained / set to have certain believes on what is “reasonable” and what it is not.

You set your limits based on what you are “used to see”, “what your family taught you”, the experiences you have had that leads you to think something is either good or bad. 

And most important, the fact that others (we, as well) are moved by “stereotypes” (So, if you come from X country, they will expect you to be from X way).

So, question is.. how to fight that?  How to fight against what you known from “always”?  How to fight against those things others “already” know from you? Do we really want to fight it or do we want to change it or do we only want to live with that? Or do we just want to… Adjust… ? Share a little from you and learn from others… Isn't that what part of the globalization was about in a way?

Ps.  I still love my good Mangú dish!

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