Monday, May 19, 2008

May 18, 2008 – “Live Different”

“Having the gumption to live different *and* the sense to let everybody else live different. That’s the hardest thing, hands down.”

I’m reading “Blue Highways – A Journey into America” by William Least Heat-Moon. It’s a travel journal from a 1982 road-trip around the contiguous USA. While it is not a book I will want to read over and over again, it has interesting tidbits of insight into the different cultures around the states. The quote above is from someone living on an island in the Chesapeake Bay.

It struck me that a lot of expats deal with living a different life at one time or another. Sometimes this is the hardest thing, sometimes it is the best thing, and sometimes it is both. It is often what starts a friendship. Every expat is living a life differently – no matter where you come from, you came *from* somewhere else. Your family and childhood friends are usually still there – you, the expat, are different. You, the expat, are living differently. Once you are on the “different” end of living, you relax a little bit about everybody else living a different way – you shake off your hang-ups (at least somewhat) about a homogeneous society. If you live a life many consider odd, or even shocking, why can’t others? It’s kinda freeing.

Of course, every once in a while, you suddenly become aware of another of your follies. You get the “But, wait! So-and-so should…” – then the ahhh – they’re living *their* life, too. Life is getting more relaxing all the time :D.

It is often conversations about these little “ahh” moments that lead from acquaintances to friendships. You start comparing notes with other expats, and before you know it…

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