Tag Archives: world travel

overwhelmed, constantly.

The past month has been a whirlwind of weekend trips, TLG conventions, wrapping up lessons, and most prominently for me, saying all my goodbyes to all the wonderfully crazy and talented people that I call my friends/teachers/fellow travelers. At the forefront of my mind has been my countdown until I fly home. From 30 days to 2 weeks to 7 days and now, the hourly countdown. (I am a bit desperate for first world luxuries…and my family.) However, looking forward so much and with such fervor, I haven’t had a chance to come to terms with this experience.

I still remember how overwhelmed I was arriving to the hotel at 4 a.m. I remember the camaraderie of training, the frustration of learning Georgian and the struggles of jet-lag that resulted in numerous ten minute naps between workshops (usually huddled in one bed because it was freezing and yet, no central heating!) The first night in Rustavi counts as one of the most lonely nights of my life. The successes of teaching, and the trials of communication, and the many long phone conversations venting/laughing/marveling at this country with my colleagues all made this experience what it was.

In one word, this experience has been intriguing. Not all of it was good, not all of it was bad, but together everything mixed into an eclectic dance. Daily, I asked myself what I was doing here. Now, daily, I ask myself why on Earth I decided to come back. In just over 50 hours, I will board a plane to fly home for the summer, and I am anxiously awaiting that landing. But in some weird way, it’s a little bittersweet.

When I come back in September, it will not be with wide eyes and anxiety. I will know how to navigate and haggle with taxis. I won’t be talking to Surfer Matt about the latest mind-numbingly confusing thing our co-teachers have said. Brittany and I won’t be sharing our latest crazy stories, or comparing this country to Asia. There won’t be sleepovers with Hannah or conversations with Alex about the (non-existent) pros of Tolstoy over Dostoevsky or late-night rants with Lyndsay about this misogynistic culture. I will be coming back less as a tourist, I think, and with less of a safety net.

These past five months were my time to figure it out (impossible) and find my favorite places and talk through the crazy. This is when I have to internalize and focus and pinpoint what I will do to make next semester work for me. This is when I re-live the hours, days, and months until I can accept what I experienced. Right now, I don’t know what happened. It was a blur to me.

It was bumpy marshrutkas and open stares. It was frustrations and triumphs at school. It was tears and curses when I felt so alone and so frustrated with this culture. It was laughter and smiles on the weekend trips. It was learning to let go of timing and planning and my love of luxury hotels.  It was trying to find any strip of normalcy, even if that was McDonald’s.

I have been overwhelmed constantly.

Maybe once I land, and eat a meal with vegetables, and shower, I will be able to finalize my feelings. Until then, my mind will be whirling as I try, and fail, to process.

Advertisements

Familiarity is a drug to me.

Sweet mercy from Heaven this is hard. 

I have wanted to leave the U.S. since I first realized there were other countries to visit, and Asia has always been at the top of my list. (Tied with the Middle East, of course.) So now I’m here, and it’s scary. I keep waiting for the scary to pass, but it hasn’t. There is a scary shadow that floats with me, and constantly reminds me that I’m alone, and too young for this, and I don’t know what I’m doing. 

I need that stupid, scary shadow to shut up. Because I am not alone–I have an awesome team here who has/is going through the exact same thing! I am not too young for this–I have my degree, I am a legal adult, and my company knows how old I am. I know what I am doing–for the most part. Of course it’s a new job and I’ve only been here two weeks, but I have a general idea of what to do and how to do it. And back to the first point, I have an awesome team that is willing to help. 

 

This week, I have some things to work on! 

1. Ask questions. I think anyone who knows me knows that I hesitate, BIG TIME, to ask questions. That is a death sentence in this job. Questions do not indicate stupidity; they indicate a curiosity and desire to be better. 

2. Be reasonable with myself. Have goals, but attainable goals. If I try to push myself as hard as I did in college, I will fail here. Determining the balance between excelling and over-achieving is key. 

3. Don’t give up. It takes 21 days to form or break a small habit–it is bound to take a while to acclimate. So yes, this morning I did call my dad in tears begging to come home. But I don’t actually want to be home. Familiarity is like a drug for me…I feel like I need a ‘hit’ of home to keep going. I am addicted to my safety net (i.e. Georgia) and now I’m being thrown out into the world! Quitting cold turkey, so to speak.

This is my chance to grow up, and be independent. This is my opportunity to find myself and prove to myself I can do it, and all the other cliches. This is the answer to every prayer and every wish and every hope. So as hard as it is now, it will be twice as rewarding in the end. 

I apologize if you’re one of the chosen few who get my frustrated texts/emails/facebook messages/skypes about my half-desire to come home. Those will pass. Eventually. 

“I don’t get homesick.”

Hah. I am a LIAR. I think I was homesick about 30 minutes after I hopped on the bloody plane. (Half my roommates use ‘bloody’ as their curse word of choice–it’s starting to stick.).

Training started today, and all of my housemates are very nice, so I am starting to acclimate and get excited about this DREAM COME TRUE of a job opportunity. Media Plus is expanding, big time, to markets outside of Europe. Hello world travel!! 

Thanks everyone for prayers and warm wishes, and the multiple messages I received asking if I was still alive…clearly I am. My luggage is here, I now have clean clothes, and I am as happy as a homesick clam. Ask me questions so I know what to answer and write about next!!

Oh, and my southern accent? It’s a big hit over here. 🙂