Traveling versus Migration

Hi Carolina,

You are right about traveling – even when not everything is clear or known, we move within clear possibilities: the distinct time frame of a few days or weeks and also our openness during that time of what we could do and possibly undertake. And really clear is that we don’t have to fit in and make it our home. That effort isn’t at all necessary since we return again at the end to where we came from.
Migration on the other hand means that we face either having to do our best to become a part of the new place, to really make it our home, create a network of friends and work to actually feel at home because we are part of it. Or on the other hand not to involve ourselves like that and forever remain on the outside even though we live there on the inside.
For me too it’s about aligning our ‘differentness’ with the new place and create a new balance. We need to get involved and deal with so many things and connect as much as possible not to feel alien. And in that process we ourselves change too. With that change usually comes the point where we probably don’t even fit into our original society and culture anymore, while we are also not even totally into the new society and culture yet either!
So to me migration feels like trying to fit several patterns in layers that normally aren’t intended to fit. Try sewing a piece of clothing that way! – you’ll get a totally misfitting and ugly thing or maybe a totally new and exciting fashion! There’s no guarantees, the only thing certain is that migrants usually have to try so much harder to make a good life in the new home.
Even though I loved being in Amsterdam all these years (15), it was sometimes so very, very hard. When after far too many apartment moves I finally got my wonderful living and working space 3 years ago, something in me settled too. I now have that stable center that I need, am near to an airport, and enjoy being in this city close to water that gives me the feeling of being connected to the world.

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