People don’t seem to go very far. We don’t migrate, we fear change and what is unknown scares the bejeezus right out of us. Some people “go off” to college and then return to the safety of their home town with a new and seemingly broader view of the world. Some people spend two weeks out of the year traveling to a foreign country and looking at the things they are supposed to look at and snapping pictures to show friends and family. It’s all well and good, and I guess its better than nothing, but none of it has the complete and utter terrifying feeling of leaving it all behind and starting over.
Four years ago I did just that. I packed a suitcase and went to Prague with no idea of what was in store for me. I look back at the person I was when I got here (See THIS entry) and I see that I am a completely different person now. I arrived here scared, alone and clueless. Now? Well, now I am too cool for school! Seriously! I got on a bus alone and travelled 12 hours into Mexico last year! The old me would have never done that. And, I have Prague to thank for it.
Living and working here has changed me in a million different ways. First off, I feel really cool because I have so many friends all over the world. I think that living your life surrounded by people you have always known doesn’t force you to build new connections. Just from my TEFL course alone, I now boast friends in Paris, Germany, Korea, Italy, Mexico and of course Prague. Sure, some people go right back to America, but a lot of people decide that seeing the world is a better way to spend their time. My friends back in the states always say, “I wish I could do something like that…” and my response is always the same: “You can. Just do it.”
Sure, I don’t speak the language and I have not travelled as much as I would like, but I got time. I miss my friends and family, but I would miss them wether I lived in Oakland or Europe. Prague is my home now. It is where I work, play and sleep. Just like all of you reading this in your home – I am writing it in mine.
The only difference is that I travelled a long way to discover where my home really is.