Living the Life of an American Abroad

I think those who feel the most animosity and irritation toward the US tend to forget that many of those judgements are generalizations, and each person you meet, no matter what nationality, is still going to be their own individual entity.

Since the Fourth of July landed on a Thursday this year, I figured I would make my Throwback Thursday post about my first experience celebrating American Independence abroad in Italy. And in general, what it means to be an American overseas when we don’t have the best reputation to begin with.

Stereotypes are commonplace in our society. They are an easy way for us to put places and people into organized categories.

However, it does seem that Americans have more negative stereotypes than most, and to be fair, there are definitely Americans I’ve met on my travels who have made me embarrassed about my nationality and do fit into the worst possible stereotypes.

There are also so many more who don’t. That can be said for any stereotype, I’m sure.

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Life is a Journey, not a Destination

Finding my place in a new city thousands of miles away from home. 

At a recent get together with my bartender coworkers, there was a point in the night where we had all drank a fair amount of craft beer and were dancing ridiculously to Hot Chip.

I’m talking the kind of dancing you usually save for being alone in your bedroom when no one will ever see what kind of moves you truly possess.

That may seem like a weird time to have an epiphany, but I remember taking a second to just look around me and realize how lucky I felt to have met all of these people. I felt so close and at ease with them, when a few months ago I had no idea who they were.

The words “life is a journey, not a destination” by Ralph Waldo Emerson came to mind.

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Being Alone vs. Being Lonely as a Solo Female Traveler

The sounds and smells of the city surround me as I walk the streets. Someone’s performing at an outdoor stage around the corner for the comedy festival that’s in town.

The scent of Malaysian food wafts towards me as I cross the road. A street musician plays the riff of one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, ironically called, “Never Going Back Again”.

The tram whirls past me and comes to a stop. A mass of bodies push past me. I jump on just before the doors close and I jolt to another part of the city. I aimlessly wonder the streets as I go, looking for work or something intriguing to catch my eye or take up my time for today.

This is how I spend my days, alone in the sprawling city of Melbourne. It’s something I’m adjusting to. I’m used to always having someone to call or to hang out with. I’m used to all my friends and family back in the States being there for me in person, or at least in the same time zone.

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On Leaving Everything Behind to Follow Your Dreams

The sun is gleaming through the palm trees, I’m riding alongside the ocean, the orange sky as my canopy. What a way to say goodbye to this cherished place I’ve taken for my own, a place I call home even with these restless bones.

The southern winds pushing me onward toward my journey, the new adventures that await. This feels right, even with the tug of nostalgia filling my chest, a montage of memories in my head.

This is my purpose, my path in life. I hate goodbyes, but I don’t see this as such, because those who I’ve met, who have touched my heart in someway, will stay there even after I’m long gone from this place.

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La Bella Vita

From the time I was very little, I remember looking up at the sky every time a plane would fly over me on my daily walk to school.

I would imagine where the people up there were going, what adventures lay ahead for them. Every time I would see an airplane in the clear blue California sky, I would make a promise to myself that someday soon it would be me on my own adventures.

It became a promise that structured my whole life around when I could travel next.

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