For someone who doesn’t like change, I like change an awful lot.
My room as a kid was a small space with lots of furniture. Being that this was pre HGTV and there was no headquarters for small space ideas to turn to, you would think there wasn’t much you could do with such little room. Au contraire. I was a magician. I could pull a reading quarter out of a hat and still have room for a sleeping nook and a writer’s station. It wasn’t always the most sensible of layouts but it wouldn’t last forever. It wouldn’t even last two months.
In college, my roommates would come home late night and lit and sling their sloshed bodies onto the couch only to fall face first onto the hardwood floor. “Who moved the couch?” After a while they started penciling in Jen’s Moving Furniture Days t the schedule so that they knew when a change was coming.
Like my Abuelita Dora, who relocated houses more often than an army family (one time she moved to the house next door just to “change it up”), I needed changes, small changes – move the bed there and a chair here and voilà!
Life abroad is kind of the same thing… just on a larger scale. If you grow tired of your Caribbean motif apartment in Santo Domingo, why not change it up for an Asian themed highrise in Shanghai. Tired of that? Trade in for a place with a European feel in Croatia. Sick of sipping on some café au laits, move to a house with an African concept in Mozambique.
Like David Bowie says, “ch ch changes.”
Some people have said that they are envious of the lifestyle we’ve chosen here. That they would never be able to do what I’m doing. That it takes a certain kind of person. I tend to think anyone could do this – you just have to actually do it. Leap and the net will appear type thing.
Many things about my personality have equipped me for this lifestyle: being a social person helps, making friends easily is a good one, being a writer is huge (for me) since it allows me to spend time alone and process the things I am experiencing. But welcoming change – maybe not always liking it, but welcoming it anyway – that’s the biggest element that has equipped me for life abroad.