La vie en rose

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who we are...

This past weekend, I had brunch in five points with a friend who also lived in France for a while. We sat outdoors (en terrace) to enjoy the beautiful, crisp fall weather and reminisced of the good ol' days sitting "en terrace" in France. Meeting a kindred spirit who understands is a rare and treasured gift. Living abroad is an experience like no other: learning the culture, how to fit in, daily routine, etc. Once you understand it, it changes you. Ok, it won't change your fundamental beliefs, but it changes the way you view things and gives you a deeper appreciation for things/ways that are different from your own. The experience of living abroad is so trivial - you simply go to another country and get on with your life - yet what you learn along the way becomes a part of who you are.

"Who we are" is not just a conglomeration of where we've been, but also of where we're from. I have a passion for international travel and love living abroad although I am very family oriented and would love to be close to my parents and brother. If you look at "where I'm from", you can understand the dichotomy: I am the child of 2 immigrants who sought a better life in an exciting, new country. I am very proud of my parents, but I, too, have a taste for an international life.

So "who I am" is definitely a product of "where I've been" and "where I'm from".... Make the most of your experiences, at home or abroad, and share them with others. Learning about others is the best way to understand them.