So, for a while there I had been considering joining my friend Amy in the Czech Republic. But I was a bit concerned about being able to learn the language before being (in my mind) thrown to the wolves. I mean, not that Czechs are wolves but the whole being in a location where I don’t speak the language and need to figure out how to find a job to feed my tummy!
Then for a brief time there was the Italy option. An easier language to learn – and by that I mean more resources at my disposal to help me learn it – but I’d be on my own.
And for the few days there I mentally weighed the two fears. Loneliness versus communication.
Guess which one won?
That is, I discovered that I personally would rather be in a rather be in a country where I know no one but can more easily speak the language. Probably why I was so impressed with those students.
At first this surprised me, but not as much the more I thought about it.
You know that age old question “Would you rather be deaf or blind?” Far and away the majority of people I’ve spoken with say deaf because they’d still be able to see a sunset or drive a car. I’d choose blind because though I’d be dependent on others for many things I’d rather be able to communicate.
Sidenote: I’d also pick blind because – though we admit it or not – we judge our entire world especially the people in it so much by how they look. What are they wearing, how “attractive” are they, and do they look similar to me. It’s not our fault; it’s just the way our brains work. We’re such a visual species and that’s how we make our initial assessments. But I’d kind of like if I could stop doing that and judge people on their words and their character.
Anyway, with regards to to whole loneliness thing, let’s face it: I communicate to my friends and family more via texts, e-mails, and Facebook walls more than I ever talk to them face-to-face. Not by choice, but because our physical daily lives don’t intersect. So, I think that no matter where I end up if I can find an internet connection I won’t be lonely.
In fact, it’s astounding how many factors have to go into this decision. Language! Safety! But chief among them all will probably be visa and ability to be able to feed and house myself in the chosen destination. If Czech Republic offers the best combo, I’ll take it. Same with Italy. Or Australia. Or Peru. Or Zambia. Or Iran.
No, not Iran. Just seeing if you were paying attention. My feels about their leader can be summed up in this [photoshopped but still awesome] picture.