Maybe it's just us being nomads, but our experience overseas couldn't be more different than the way we lived back in America.
Love this! Huh, you just made me realize how wonderful it has been to have so many conversations in Mexico lately and none of them have had to do with politics or even COVID. We also rarely talk about work. Instead, we talk about the wonders of San Miguel de Allende, our families, where to eat amazing food, and even things like spirituality (we've oddly made a lot of yogi friends lately haha).
One question I have for you guys is (since this topic of community is one I also recently explored in my last article): do you find that the friendships you make abroad last the test of distance and time once you leave? As RVers we find that it's easier to leave new friends behind because we likely will see them on the road again, but I feel sad to think that as we're living in Mexico, I may not stay much in touch with the people we met here (I'd love to, though!). I'd love to know what your experience has been like!
Dear Brent: I think your article is spot on. When you made your comment about shows with the central theme of having friends play an important part of the characters' lives, I immediately thought of 3 of the TV sitcoms I'm watching right now. One is "Younger", a second if "Happy Endings", and the third is "How I Met Your Father". All 3 of those shows have friendship as a central theme. My life is so unlike those shows. I have 2 friends who are many miles apart. I spend most of my personal time alone with a book or watching TV. And I supposedly have a partner! It's good I grew up as an only child in the baby boomer generation as I learned at any early age how to be alone. I'm envious of your life now. 9 invitations to dinner after 3 1/2 weeks. I haven't had 9 invitations to dinner in the last 2 years, maybe longer. Anyway, carry on and enjoy your life. And don't be in any hurry to come back to the US. For me, the damage done by Trump and his minions is permanent. Take care.
Yes, I think it's true that staying in places no longer than a month or two keeps your impressions of the place and people fresh and romantic, if I don't say superficial and naive - but that would be the great part of travelling: you get to experience the best of people and places and you can leave when the novelty wears off. I'm looking forward to that too, I don't do well with long bouts of routine and absolutely adore meeting and spending evenings out with new people and discovering their stories for the first time and hearing all their interesting opinions - when you know people for a long time, especially when you're all stuck in routines, there's nothing fresh left to talk about, except what the news throw out at you, like the Trumpisms you mention and the worst events of the moment.... It is exactly the same where I live here, and I wouldn't day it's a South African thing or an American thing - for foreign travellers in America, they'd get to meet up with other travellers and have fantastic evenings out and not eat fast food alone in their car on the way between errands... So, it's a traveller thing:))) No need to beat your American culture up just yet, I'm sure ! Xoxxox
Your quotation from your father is spot on! I have replaced the word "Americans" (since I live in Australia) with the word "Christians" (since I am a gay Christian man) and the comment is even more spot on. Here is my edited version with the added words in square brackets: “[Christians] are very literal-minded. They worship words. That’s why we spend so much time parsing the Bible and the Constitution [read, ‘church doctrinal statements’]. [Christians] are much less interested in abstractions, in ideas. They obsess over and fetishize specific words and miss the larger point.” With your permission, I would like to use this edited quote in an article I am writing on this very issue (from a Christian and gay point of view). Christians wage a war of words against LGBTIQ people and the obsession over the word "abomination" springs to mind. The article won't be published, but will be available on my personal website. I have included an acknowledgement of the author (Brent H in this case) in my article and provided a link to your website in the footnotes. Thanks, David PS I have been reading your blog for years, but this is the first time I have commented! I even had to create a whole profile just to write this comment!