Similar to the story of The Lost Girls, at the age of 28, I took a scary life leap that involved quitting my hard-earned copywriting job, selling my house and car, leaving family and friends, and consuming lots of high fructose corn syrup to help me deal with equal doses of doubt: Was I throwing away everything I was supposed to want in life just to live in country where stores weren’t even open on Sundays?
Thankfully, I can safely say that no, it was all worth it. Living abroad has given me the space I needed to redefine myself without the pressure to keep up with the Joneses, to live the American dream.
Four years after moving to Switzerland, here are a few other things I’ve learned:
I’ve learned that it's ok to take an hour for lunch.
I’ve learned that I’m really good at smiling and nodding.
I’ve learned that no matter how long I live here I’m still going to crave Kraft Mac and Cheese.
I’ve learned that a velour suit is street wear in America and sleepwear in Switzerland.
I’ve learned that footwear is a great way to determine where someone is from.
And I’ve learned that I’m not 25% Italian, 25% Polish, 20% English, 12.5% Danish, 10.5% Swedish, and 7% German. I’m 100% American. My Nikes prove it.
If you are living or have lived abroad, what has the experience taught you?