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My email to sojourner, nomad friends…and their replies

Sunday, March 4th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm
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Posted in  Data Collection, Personal Process

On Friday, 2nd March, I wrote the following emai to some of my friends who also live abroad, the sojourners that battle with cultural identity, the cultural adaptation, the dilemmas around going back to what used to feel like ‘home’ but not anymore etc…:

“Dear friends,

I have been reading a very powerful book by Craig Storti, titled “The Art of
Coming Home” – Intercultural Press and thought of some of you who have been
living abroad and maybe thinking of returning back ‘home’ at some point….only
to find out that home is not home anymore, surely not immediately and that
there are many challenges and processes involved in that ‘re-entry’ of the
‘homeland’….the same author has written another book titled “The art of
crossing Cultures” which is about the psychological, and other, impact of
living abroad, in a culture other than the one where one was born and grew up
with……..look for them at your local library or you can find them on amazon
at good price

so….to you fellow sojourners, i recommend both those book as a good read to
understand oneself….and if at anypoint you also feel that you dont feel at
home anywhere, just know you are not alone…….if on the other hand, you have
managed ways to ‘find home’,inside and outside, i will be more than happy, i
will actually be very interested in listening to how you have come to that
stage, if willing to share…that would help!”

I have now started receiving some interesting responses….all this is research data!!!:

My friend P., currently living in New York and thinking of returning to Greece, responded by saying:

“Thank you very much for the insight. Both books sound very interesting and many of us
have felt the whole “home”, “homeland” issue, either because we lived our lives in two or
more places or just because we don’t feel fulfilled with the place we live in. I think,
and that is only my personal opinion, the words ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ have nothing to
with the place we were born and raised, they have to do with where each one of us feels
like ‘home’. To me the word ‘home’ means the place that I totally feel comfortable with
in terms of location and surroundings. This is where it gets a little tricky?.can we ever
have both? The answer is no, but everything has a value, so we weight things and we want to make sure that the scale is on our advantage. No book can teach you how to do that, it is totally personal and at the end of the day we just have to make the best out of every
situation. We tend to let our feelings control our decisions, but it is the brain that
gives the final OK. Just remember that everything in life has a cycle and when you feel
deeply inside you that “a” cycle has been completed, it is then time to find a new ‘home’?.”

Another friend, Z., a Slovac artist living between Newcastle, Berlin, Prague and Slovakia responded by saying:

“I half live here, half live there….as an artist, you must ‘nomad’ all the time….it’s a painkiller…’home’ – it is in our heads really…but the books sound great, will look for them”

A colleague of mine, S., who has recently rturned to Greece after 13 years in the UK wrote:

“i will look for the book soon. i go through these feelings a lot laterly as you know… i dont feel at all home where i am but i certainly dont feel home in UK either… such a sad feeling sometimes…”

At least am not alone in all this… this our challenge of today? To find a way of feeling comfortable in some sort of ‘global identity’? I am just wondering…

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