Saturday, August 4, 2012

Love Letter to my Lonely Travelers

Dear Lonely Traveler, Explorer, Friend,

Well, you've done it. You've done what most people spend their lives fearing -- you've left what you know and decided to try something new. You're learning to adapt to a new space. You're meeting new people, you're (hopefully) trying new foods, maybe speaking a new language, seeing all the places you're supposed to see... and getting to know yourself a little better.

What you can actually do when there arent people there telling you how to do it. You're navigating a new space. You're learning about how you fit in in the grand scheme of a city... because for the first time you may be figuring out what it is like to adjust and have to find a place for yourself. If you are lonely, you're doing it right. It means you've gone beyond whats comfortable and seeing the brand sparkling new, there in front of you.

I've always felt lucky. I like being in different places and learning how to leave that uncomfortable time of mal-adjustment and hope that things will get better. Because, they do. I promise. I've lived in a few different places so far. Always with the goal: learn to survive. learn to find comfort where you are. make a space for yourself, because you can. It's tough. uncomfortable. Painful sometimes. I know I'll never be able to leave everything behind, and I carry parts of home with me wherever I go. Because you have to, dont think you cant. You will never forget where you came from, and that's a beautiful thing about you.

So, my lonely traveler, you're getting better. It is getting easier. You're doing a great job! And soon, very soon, you wont even notice that feeling of "foreignness." You'll tell your friends about the places you went and people you saw, and they'll smile because guess what... you look like a pro.

You'll return as a different person because you made yourself jump these hurdles. You made new friends and built a new space for yourself. Guess what? When you do it next time, it will only be easier :)

And in the meantime, know that you have a friend in me. And I'm always here for a chat.



[Disclaimer: this post is dedicated to a very wonderful friend and loyal reader now in Belgium, but I think the theme is universal enough that I wanted to post it as an open letter to my friends every where going through the out-of-place-in-my-new-space experience. Good luck!]

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