Being an expat can be difficult, and, as my previous post highlighted, it can be very easy to focus on the negatives, and let it get me down. And recently, the farewells seem to be far outweighing the welcomes. This is something that is a quintessential part of the expat life - the fact that your stay will only be temporary, whether it's a 3-month placement or (such as in my current posting) up to four years.
So, in the interest of looking on the bright side of things, here's a reminder to myself of things that I am grateful for (in list form):
1. I have a job. With a reputable employer. With a range of varied, interesting, and challenging tasks. With opportunities to exercise my professional skill and help people in diverse communities.
2. I will have plenty of time, and enough money to travel. I just need to be patient.
3. I can - and will - travel all over Europe. It's the wrong time to travel right now, being both summer and peak travel season, but I'm itching to get some happening once September comes.
4. I have books - my own little library at home. Enough to keep my occupied for weeks in solitude, if the mood takes me. And if I need alone time, then that's okay.
5. I have a creative mind. I need to use it more - because that's what makes me happy. I don't need an audience right now - just some notebooks and my thoughts. I need to take more time to let myself be creative.
Three and a half months in, I feel like I've started out doing the things I *should* be doing, which feels like a rookie error, and I should know better at this point in my life. It's time to refocus on the things that I know will make me happy.