I read this Leslie Price piece today. And thought about the movements I’ve made in search of homes, schools and work. Now it’s just nice to recollect where I’ve been. And to admit to myself that while I might often suffer from fernweh, it’s often just romance. Moving does not wipe away problems. And more importantly, cravings for home are visceral, they’re not confined by physical spaces.
Song in the image: Eminem, Lose Yourself.
Here’s the actual quote:
“Moving does not wipe away your problems.
New destinations can seem so romantic. Your current situation can seem so tragic. And though a move can improve some aspects of your life — career, access to natural light, few-to-zero termites (the scourge of Miami) — it does not, in my experience, fix the hard stuff. That boyfriend will not be less annoying just because you now have an eat-in kitchen, for example. Sunset views cannot cure your anxiety. “
I have moved 25 times so far, sometimes back and forth between the same cities. This has included 4 Indian states, 2 German states and overall 11 cities in 4 countries. I’ve been exposed to multiple dialects and 8 different languages. Some places are kinder than others, some cultures more open. Some cultures are nicer on the surface and some just make their worst people guard immigration queues.
My least favorite place outside of home is a toss between Jammu and Pune. Maybe Pune gave me the worst feeling because I experienced it as an adult. But I also met my best friend there. Munich was my favorite place and gave me some of my best new experiences. The reason why I’ve enjoyed my later moves better is purely because I feel much more confident in what I prefer. I feel less peer pressure and do not intend to entertain any disrespect towards my person or time. Yet, the US has been the hardest to live in, because in your 30s, you are fooled into the feeling that you understand things.
It feels intense, but no amount of moving across the world has done anything, until I chose to work on myself. Traveling has been a privilege, but it also comes with the burden of lost memories and friendships. It may seem exciting, but unplugging constantly in order to build roots is a deeply lonely activity.