Thursday, January 25, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about my time in Europe since getting back to the States. And I've come to a few conclusions about myself and my whereabouts.

I always knew that I didn't completely fit in here in the US. I only moved here when I was 15, and as such, my character was largely formed by international, non-US experiences. Unlike many immigrants, I don't have a strong attachment to the United States as an abode, since to me being American was always a question of my passport, and while I view it as a great place for higher education, it's not where I'd like to be for the rest of my life.

Four months in Western Europe reminded me that I don't fit in completely in Europe either. Although as a child in Switzerland I was quintessentially Swiss (not European), the years I spent in the US have Americanized me to a point that I find Europe as odd as I find the US (particularly Western Europe - Eastern Europe is much more comprehensible, especially from an American perspective). I also do not wish to spend the rest of my life in Europe.

At this point in my life, I really begin to realize the full impact my childhood abroad had on me - my parents' own wanderings have left me feeling unsatisfied unless I can move around, and I find myself feeling completely rootless. Right now I'd like to spend a few years in Europe, then move to Asia and focus my attentions there. If there's anything my 4.5 years in Japan taught me, it's that it's better not to fit in at all than to almost, but not quite, blend in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a nomad with a similar lifestyle the feel of dissatisfaction and 'missing out' I have my own little theory. it has nothing to do with childhood (my parents are staunchly sedentary) but more of an innate survival gene. the ones that push the hominids out of Africa. some people are just born with it, same way as many children at first automatically fear the dark. just my 2 cents.

7:42 AM  

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