Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Home and back …

… Self-Exiled from New York: A Reverse Study Abroad | by Cassandra Csencsitz | Sep, 2020 | Medium.

I bring back to New York an abundance of lessons from my study abroad. What defines your family when you are squatting for months on end? It turns out the same things that define you at home. We are all little more than snails who carry our values (and our failings) on our backs. After five months of moves, my family could pop-up shop in no time, unpacking with masterful efficiency, settling into new digs with the routines of musicians on tour. “Make yourselves at home.” “No problem!” As guests, we became even better chameleons. Each family is a micro-culture, and you learn to pick up on the habits and behaviors that keep your hosts comfortable. You become adept at pitching in and expressing gratitude. We learned to live with fewer things, to adapt and improvise without luxuries that once seemed “non-negotiables” but may be little more than overcompensation for other more vital ways one’s cup is not being filled. I had to take a hard look at my ephemeral creature comforts versus my eternal human needs — and which I should really be investing in.

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