Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.Terry Pratchett
The reason I talk about moving to a new country as “when” and not “if” is because I will do it. When the time comes, I will leave my current life, move to a new country, and do as the locals do. I will do it because this goal precedes any other goal I may have.
I find 1-3 years to be the sweet spot before making the next transition, enough to go through all the phases of cultural shock: honeymoon, anxiety, adjustment, and adaptation. The path to adaptation is emotional and unstable, as it has been in my past 2 moves, but that’s what makes them important. You can’t grow if your reality is never challenged.
I look forward to shedding my identity in the face of new social rules. I like to play the part: dress like them, eat like them, behave like them. I want to seep into their community as seamlessly as I can, and when I go home at the end of the day — I will come back to myself feeling richer inside.
While the physical moving portion is the ultimate goal, it’s not the end goal per se. I will continue learning languages, devouring books based in different cultures, and immerse my mind in other worlds all the same. You see, this goal can’t fail me. A tangible way to do this can enforce the transition, but it’s not a requisite.
It makes me happy to think and plan for the Next Move. It’s aligned with my values, it gives me something long-term to look forward to, and it makes me appreciative of everything that has come before this moment. Every priviledge, every achievement, and every failure I’ve had — I thank them all.