Living Abroad

Do I really want to live outside of the United States, like in Shanghai or Hong Kong? There are other cities in mainland China that have a lower cost of living. How about those? Why do I have a desire to be an expatriot? I think it may be the sound of the word: “expatriot” – like I hate the States or something. Well… I don’t like the current Administration very much.

There has to be a better reason to live abroad than the sound of the word “expatriot.” Without thinking about the costs/benefits, I surmise there are more reasons to stay close to my family in L.A. than there are for living in a city like Bangkok. I have little cousins who look up to me. My parents are getting to that age where they would like to see their only son more often than once a year. I have a lot of relatives who actually like me being around.

Is my loner-self coming back, again? (Did it ever really go away?) I like the idea of being on my own, away from everything and everyone… having the choice to visit the ones I love rather than having no choice but to face them every week. I could distance myself from their problems. I would be alone with my thoughts. Yet, those benefits can be reaped from living on my own. I do not necessarily have to be on the other side of the world.

Living abroad would be a new life. Shanghai… different people, language, norms, government, pace of life, etc. I am jealous of people who traveled much in their lives. It’s like I listened to classical music all my life, never knowing the soul-moving beats of salsa/merengue. I listen or read about people who have visited different countries, experienced different cultures, and I feel like they are dancing to a better tune. Their perspective on life is greater because they experienced more from life. And, I want to experience more of life, too.

I don’t have to live abroad permanently to experience more of life. Five years to a decade would be more than enough, right? I would know more after the two years abroad through Peace Corps. I might hate not having the conveniences here in the States.

What will L think? I’m afraid of the answer. If she says she can’t live abroad, will I go without her? Will her needs be unfulfilled by me fulfilling mine? That might lead us to different lives… different relationships, even.

What if… what if I lived abroad despite L’s objections? Our lives separate. What if I realize that living in a foreign country wasn’t a life-expanding experience and come home finding a new love has found L? Will I regret my choices?

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