I feel like I wrote a similar post when I studied abroad in 2010, but as I sit on a cramped bus en-route to Nuremberg from Munich (on my eventual way back to Prague), I feel like I need to reiterate facts to some folks back home.
(1) My finances are none of your business.
I find it incredible that I even have to say this: but guess what? I manage my own money. You know what I’ve done since graduating from college? Worked. *GASP* I even lived on my own for four years. Guess who paid for those apartments? Me. Yes, I have decided to embark on a new path in another country. I did not need to be rolling in dough or have a trust fund to find a cheap (yes, cheap!) ticket to Central Europe and enroll in a TEFL program.
(2) I did not get lucky.
I lost track of how many people have said, “You’re so lucky!!” when I told them I was moving to Prague. This move had nothing to do with luck. This was a thorough decision planned out for months in advance. Winning the lottery would be lucky. I’d be cool with winning the lottery. But did I win the lottery? No.
(3) It’s not all puppies and daisies.
I have half a seat right now. The dude next to me fell asleep and spread out. The girl across the aisle doesn’t have shoes on. Bare feet petrify me. The people behind me are yakking loudly, so much so that I’m struggling to focus on my studies and decided to write a blog post instead. Minor and major annoyances happen anywhere. Problems don’t go away just because someone moves away. My blog may be predominantly positive, but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with basic issues related to normal human nature.
(4) It does actually suck when I don’t hear from you.
I’ve made a conscious effort to say stay in contact with as many people as possible back home. It’s hard and not always possible considering my demanding schedule. I apologize if you haven’t heard from me personally just yet. But, on the same hand, I did notice when many people did not even like a single Facebook status related to my departure or send well wishes. That really sucks and it hurts. It’s not hard to like a status. It’s not hard to send an email. The fact that so many of you guys clearly think I’ve made an awful, costly mistake (allegedly bankrolled by my mother who allegedly coddles me) just makes me feel like total crap.
(5) And also: It can be LONELY here.
Yes, I made the decision to move. It was time, and I needed fulfillment that I could no longer find at home. But when I’m here 5,000+ miles away and see posts from fall festivals and fun parties in Philly, I feel sad and wish I could be with you guys. Life is moving on without me at the moment, and if/when I return, nothing will be the same. Right now I’m struggling to adapt to a new culture and would really appreciate your support.
I would support you if you went out in pursuit of a happier existence.