Being an expat can sometimes be lonely. I often times find myself searching for ways to meet new people, find new groups and seek out people in similar situations. Upon this search one day, I came across an article about expat parents raising their children in a foreign place. While reading this article, I discovered I was familiar with the two expat bloggers they referenced. This made me more curious so I began searching about the site. I found that the Young Germany has a lot to offer, including their own blog. If you check it out, you will see that yours truly has been featured as a guest on their site today. You can see my post here or below.
People Are People. Everywhere.
As featured on Young Germany
7.1 billion. Let that soak in for a minute as you contemplate just how large this number actually is. According to the United States Census Bureau (2012), as documented in Wikipedia, that number is the total population on Earth. It’s almost overwhelming when you think of it in that manner. To top it off, those 7.1 billion people are spread out over 193-196 (depending on your source) countries. With each person being unique, each country having its own culture, it would be safe to assume that we are all very different. It is therefore understandable that when traveling to a foreign country some people may have this fear or uneasiness that the people will be so different that there are no similarities. This is a hard feeling to describe and I know it exists because I have felt it myself.
This is my second time living in Germany so you would think that this fear would have been non-existent upon my return; however, it wasn’t. Granted, it was less than before, but the overwhelming process of adjusting to a new culture can make even the most outgoing of people a potential hermit. But the more you go out and interact with people in your new country, the more you realize we really aren’t that different. Sure, we have different foods and cultural norms, but our inner core is still that of a human being.
My husband and I were out running errands one day and people were driving too slow or too fast, cutting you off, flying through parking lots, parking like they are still in driving school and I said to him,“I guess nothing changes no matter where you live; you still have idiots everywhere“. That’s when it hit me, people are people everywhere. We all make mistakes. We all have feelings and emotions. We all have goals and dreams. We are all out trying to survive and enjoy life. So why should I be so nervous about interacting with these people? They are no different than I am and more than likely, they are just as nervous about interacting with me. Many times, this is the exact reason why a German who knows English won’t speak it which is again, no different than this American who is learning German but afraid to speak it.
Fear. Excitement. Love. Hate. Happiness. Sadness. Knowledge. Ignorance. It’s all the same regardless of where you live. So, don’t be nervous and get out there and enjoy the differences while relishing the similarities! Happy travels!