“Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.”
- John Berger
How would you categorize a city you have traveled to? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.
As I was with a group of 20 somethings in Florence this summer, we were having a nice chat around a restaurant table. Being 34, my first time to Europe was when I was 21….way before iphones and the travel sites, online maps, etc. (Well some of them might have been there but we just didn’t use them). Laughing, as I started to tell the story, I recalled how when I first went to Italy to live with a family I needed to use phone cards. I had to memorize the phrase for asking for a phone card, buy it, and then find the nearest payphone and enter the numbers. I sounded like a dinosaur telling that story. But that was how it was done.
I love the internet. I love my phone and I love technology. But I cherish the times I traveled without them. I remember the time a friend and I arrived in Glasgow one cold rainy night (probably like most nights there). We had to find the hotel so we got out our cumbersome map and started looking. A group of Scots came up to ask and asked if they could help. (At first we had to have them repeat the question like 3 times because we were so shocked at the accent that we couldn’t understand them.) They ended up helping us and they made us feel really welcome in Scotland. Today I still talk about how friendly the Scots are.
Not having access to the internet helped us to really plan and to be prepared (as much as possible). And most of all, we communicated in a variety of ways… and we were able to get lost, and in the way of getting lost, we discovered so many things. Surprisingly enough, we survived…and had an amazing time doing it.
For more things having an iphone has made us lose while traveling, take a look at this funny article. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/iphone-travel_n_4239775.html
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
- J. R. R. Tolkien
We all know that living abroad provides for wonderful experiences. But sometimes we learn the hard way that the magical place we are living in, may not feel so magical all the time. Living abroad is an amazing opportunity. New places to discover, new friends to make, new food to try. But as humans, we tend to crave routine and similarity. And this “similarity”, can be hard to find when we are in a new place and all the “new” and “exciting” things are completely overwhelming. The good news is that you have the power to control most of your feelings. If you go in with a bad attitude, chances are it will be bad. If you go in with a positive attitude, chances are it will be good though some bad days are to be expected. And this is the beauty in being able to live abroad. You can look at life through new glasses. No place is perfect though when far away from “home”, we tend to romanticize everything back home. Then when you are “home”, you realize it wasn’t as wonderful as you had remembered. So our advice is this… Try as much as possible to find the good in what you are experiencing. Live the life-explore, discover and appreciate!
We came across this article in the Huffington Post and wanted to share it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-redmon/living-abroad_b_4210084.html