This was not what I was planning to write about today,
but as I was driving the kids to school this morning, I heard on the radio yet
another round of bad news on Greece.
I felt deeply sad about what is happening to the
country where I grew up. The intensity of my reaction got me thinking about why moving
internationally can be so hard on some of us and less so on others. I think that
part of the answer may lie in the emotional bonds that we build with certain places
and how that influences – consciously or subconsciously – our mindset when we
move to a new one.
I still love going back there and do so with every chance I get. I love the feeling
of being with family, the sense of belonging, the (almost) permanent sunshine;
the proximity to the sea. I feel more “myself” there than anywhere else. Even if I am not
sure I would be able to live in Greece permanently after having been away for
so long, almost daily I find myself missing different aspects of life there. Still.
I am wondering if that was part of the reason why it took me so long to adjust
to life in Austria and whether the transition would have been smoother had managed
to get myself to let go. Or maybe this is a classic case of over-romanticizing
the life I don’t have to live.
Now that I am about to make my next move, would it
help to concentrate on the things I miss about Greece that I can actually find
in Switzerland, rather than on the ones that I cannot? What if, rather than dwelling
on no-win subjects such as the climate or how warm or cool people are, I focused
instead on how wonderful it makes me feel to live close to the water? (Lake
Zurich is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention has waterski facilities!)
places undermine our ability (or willingness) to adjust and if that’s the case,
is there a way around that? Many of you may have done this better than I have. I’d
love to hear how.