san•guine |ˈsa ng gwin |
adjective, 1 of an optimistic disposition
I am of an increasingly common stock of young millenials who have forsaken the comforts and security of home and decided to build our lives amidst the foreign, the unknown. We are in the beginning stages of perennial expatriatism and the uncertainty of life abroad is what drives us from challenge to challenge. Our existence is defined by its transience and we accept that our futures are as supple as they are pre-defined. Many of us (myself included) are still pursuing careers. We are not backpackers on a brief sojourn or professionals taking a mid-life crisis-induced sabbatical. Some of us work 9 to 5 and we still look for jobs with salaries, benefits and insurance. But we never sign a longterm lease and we’re always eying the next opportunity over the horizon.
This doesn’t come without its downsides, though. Despite globalization and digital technology giving us the means to stay connected to the people and cultures we left behind, we live in an ephemeral gray zone. We are neither here nor there. Our relationships are fleeting, we all have friends and family back home that we truly do miss (despite what they may think) and it is hard to not be intimidated by the uncertainty of our futures. Nonetheless, there is a certain exhilaration that comes with continually starting over and the benefits of constant exploration far outweigh the sacrifices. Although there is no such thing as being a-cultural, as we adapt and incorporate more of our adopted cultures into our lifestyles, perspectives and ideologies, we tend to find ourselves increasingly disconnected from the societies that shaped us. Consequently, we are in a sense forging our own culture. One of the voluntarily displaced; the willfully alien who savor their otherness and garner a sublime joy in the process of acclimation.
This is what it means to be a contemporary young nomad and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
At least for now.
I am currently in Cambodia, by way of Wyoming, New York, Thailand and briefly Kenya. I currently work in international development, specifically governance and democracy strengthening, and have a background human rights advocacy and protection.
Although I have many convictions and interests that I take very seriously, this blog is meant to be a way to slow down and acknowledge the beautiful nuances in life. This is my guilt free space to indulge the sensory and reflect on the little things that make life as an expat worthwhile.
Join me if you like.