It’s about being centered, and preserving all that I have gained here. It is difficult, because I am a firm believer that I am affected by my environment, wherever I am. I came here all on my own, figured things out mainly on my own (with the help of my kuumi for some things), and started friendships from scratch. It is a wonderful but scary thing, starting over, or rather, the beginning. But after that first initial week, and after making a few friends, things only went up from there.
Having been given the opportunity to travel and live in another country has done wonders for me. In some ways, I have always felt different from the rest in the States, mainly because I was not fully American, and because since arriving in Gainesville in March of 1992, I have lived life among two cultures and two points of view. Perhaps this is why I am so eager to live elsewhere and acclimate to new environments; because that is what is familiar and comfortable for me. Time and time again I keep saying that I don’t want to return back to the States, that I want to stay here, or rather, finish my Master’s degree and continue life somewhere in a new country. This could be construed as if I am running away from something, or that I am not comfortable with staying in one place, but my theory is that I don’t feel that I belong in one place, so why limit myself. Yes, I have spent most of my years and self-developing in the States, but it does not define me.
Countries have their own national citizens, their own official language, as well as own sets of customs, but it shouldn’t be seen as a limitation, but rather, as something to be gained. Many people travel to different places as visitors, and see a lot, and some even consider themselves experts of the place, but it is not enough to visit a place, and it’s not even enough to live in a place. It takes time, years, decades, family, friends, personal experience, and patience, to really understand your surrounding. So maybe what I am getting at is that you can never really understand one place completely, not even in one lifetime, so why not continue exploring, continue developing in different environment, because the world is too big and unique not to.

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