Monday, March 23

Things that have made me think

I just read this in the bood I read on my way back from Oslo.

"...the sense of endless possibility that every ex-patriate experiences, the feeling that your life has somehow opened up, that you're finally free to become exactly who you want to be" (Tony Parsons in One for my Baby)

I've been thinking lately about why I live the way I do, and I'm beginning to think that a lot of it is just attention-seeking. Or maybe thrill-seeking!

You see, during the first month in a new city, everything is new and interesting, including me. I'm a strange exotic stranger who has enough interest in the city to want to live there for a while.
After a month or so, the novelty wears off, I become just another resident of the city, my social life gets a little less hectic, and I settle into a 'normal' sort of routine.

So it's entirely possible that I rely too much on my exotic-novelty factor to power my social life. But hey, why not? Didn't someone famous say that you should always be a little foreign wherever you are? This is exactly my strategy, it seems!

There's also the 'be who you want to be' factor. In the years I've been travelling, I've taken a little something from everywhere I've been: a little culture, a little fashion sense, a little language, a few ideas about what is 'normal'. I'm definitely a long way from where I was 7 years ago before I started this lifestyle.

So now my accent and vocabulary is a bizarre mix, my dress sense is increasingly idiosyncratic and I am always a little foreign wherever I am.

Of course, this also gives me the freedom to not conform with whatever 'normal' means wherever I am. Anything that is considered unusual or weird can be explained by my foreign-ness. Even if the percieved weirdness wouldn't be 'normal' anywhere I've been, I have the excuse to be exactly who I want to be. The 'coolness' factor I gain from being an exotic nomad also means that whatever strange thing I wear/say/do/etc, is exotically interesting, and not uncool.

Yay for non-conformist individuality, hey?!

So the conclusion that can be drawn from all this, I guess, is that if I'm doing it, or wearing it, or whatever, it is automatically cool, and screw what anyone else thinks.

I just need to remember that more often!