How becoming an expat helped me meet life goals

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Moving to a foreign country is a lot like writing a book. It’s something most people would like to do but most never will. It’s challenging, inspiring, scary as hell, and requires the loyal grit and determination of a cat chasing a laser beam.

You can be the most beautiful, emotive writer, spinning streams of golden prose that dance gracefully across a page––and in the same moment be a terrible storyteller with no sense of character development or narrative structure. Then, there are born storytellers. People gifted at crafting tales that intoxicate readers with just the right amount of complexity, soul, and intrigue. A twist here, a turn there. Literary origami. Often, these people are not great at prose.

Then, there are the experts––we cannot forget factual accuracy. So many specialists, historians, sci-fi nerds, and PHDs write books leaning on the near-religious grasp they have of a subject matter. But gripping facts and accurate situational dialogue do not, alone, make a good book. It’s incredibly rare to find that all the qualities of true authorship embodied by a single person. What being an expat has taught me is, life is a game of playing your strengths.

Many people, myself included, dream of writing a book. Like living abroad, where does one begin? What if I don’t have the brain I need to do this right? The key is, don’t think—just do. In the expat life, this mentality has led me through painful challenges, up volcanoes, off cliffs, and through new and dangerous situations. Why should life goals be any different? Creative expression can transport you from the passive condition of thought to the active condition of sensation and there is nothing more sensual or full of flavor than the experience of another place, people, and culture.

 

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