The first person I mentioned my Big What If to was Lynn. As we were hiking up a mountain. “So [gasp] I’m thinking about moving [gasp] to Europe.” “[gasp] I’d kill you. [gasp]” (We were out of breath, not repeatedly surprised.) Given that it took us 15 hours to do eight miles, I take that response as the cruddy mountain talking, not my friend.
The second person I told was Jessica. Why? She knows travel and culture. Seriously. She was born in the Philippines (parents are missionaries), lived from age seven to 14 in Brazil, studied abroad in Italy, did Semester at Sea, and speaks four languages. She majored in anthropology and minored in German – because already being fluent in English and (nearly fluent) in Portuguese I guess wasn’t enough. Oh, and then took Italian for when she studied in Italy.
If I was being put on a plane with a mystery destination and could bring one person, it would be Jessica. She’s amazing.
I broached the topic thusly: “So, I’ve been having this weird and kinda scary idea that I should move to another country.”
Her response: “That’s not scary – that’s exciting!”
See why I wanted to talk to her?
She would love to move abroad. In fact, she said that was the saddest thing about buying a townhouse with her husband – that “oh, I guess we’re going to be here awhile” feeling.
I asked where she would move if she could: Brazil or Italy. Okay, Brazil I understand but why Italy? Because the culture and the people seemed most like Brazil of any place she had traveled.
I asked what she thought would be the most difficult part of living abroad. She felt it was the job aspect. I’d have to agree. You don’t necessarily know the culture and laws and language and there are visa woes – but you gotta eat! Having a plethora of tongues in your back pocket like her, though, sure would come in handy.
When creating a list of people to interview, she was first on my list. And it’s awesome to have a friend who’s as excited as I am about the possibility.