Friday, September 16, 2011

When Is Enough Enough?

I think this is a question that many other wanderers, vagabonds, and expats contemplate from time to time.  Even while the exciting life of living abroad is underway, there are3 always several moments of acknowledgement to it's temporary nature.  I think something that is overlooked when taking a step as I did is what comes next, once that inner desire to have an adventure has somewhat faded and the longing for being somewhere comfortable where a career that can flourish is becoming more pronounced.  Now that I'm back, taking a momentary pause in my Spain experience, I can't help but face this question full on.  I've been away from that more conventional life for almost two years now and the idea of coming back to it, at least to a degree, is becoming more real, more pressing, yet more palatable.  I've missed certain things that I took for granted before like my friends and family and all the things I worked so hard for before.  So what now?  I uprooted myself for a reason and I know my journey overseas is not finished.  While being home comes with great comfort, my passion lies abroad, discovering different cultures and places, and the idea of only getting the opportunity to return to foreign lands in the confines of a two week vacation truly makes me nauseous.   So that brings me to that question: when is enough enough?  When will I be okay with turning back and facing the life I left behind?  It won't be the same life, but I'll have to reemerge into a world that I shunned for so long.  And to do that in a sluggish economy, be competitive for work, return to the rat race... I'm still not ready for that reality. 

I suppose I have a short term plan, to return to Spain and continue on teaching my language and acquiring theirs.  Further complications I've added to my plate like my increasingly serious relationship and my rapidly growing connection to living like a Spaniard, are also issues I will soon need to face.  This is just one of those defining times in life when change is inevitable and while it's surely going to be a painful process, I need to remember that like many others who depart from their day to day life to experience something entirely different, it is worth it.  I'll find my own way to ingrain myself back into American culture and face that fear of being settled.  Once all of this is in my past, I'll have the memories of poignant moments, the photos of incredible places, the bonds with those I shared the experience with, to always go back to and remember fondly.  And who knows, maybe I'll find a way to combine career with international travel, being in a community at home and integrating myself into societies abroad.

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