Where do I really belong?

Every time I come “home”, I feel less and less like I belong there.  In my ADD efforts to not do the millions of things on my “To Do” list the other day, I decided to take a bunch of cheesy online quizzes to see in which country I really belong. (Google the subject and you’ll get pages of them, thank you PlayBuzz).

The results were pretty inconclusive, but interesting none the less.

At the top, came in Denmark (3), Italy (3) and India (3).  I already know that I could not live in India, too much dust and dirt and pollution – I’d never breathe again!  And, while I am Italian by heritage, I think it would take a long time to adjust to the “when I get to it” mentality of the bureaucratic country.  Denmark I could definitely see, even though I’ve only ever been in the airport there.

Other considerable options that came up included: New Zealand (if only it weren’t so far from EVERYTHING), Japan (perhaps too formal for my tastes), Sweden (similar to Denmark, but colder), the Netherlands (definitely a possibility, any Dutch friends want to adopt me?!?), South Africa (want to visit, not sure about living there), South Korea (I could actually see this for a few years at least – hello ARTBox!), Canada (duh, eh?), Austria (maybe), Great Britain (been there, could go back), and France (twelve years of French might FINALLY pay off!)

A few that were interesting and possibly way off…. Lithuania (okay, actually I know nothing about the country, maybe it’s like Denmark and Sweden?), Brazil (uh, yeah, no), Ghana (what?!?!?), Burkina Faso (I don’t even know where that is).

So, there you have it folks, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.  But if you too feel out of place where you live, it might open your mind to some places you never considered before!  Also, check out this TED Talk about having many or no homes.

 

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The Grass is NOT Always Greener

It seems that lately I come across many people who make assumptions about me and my life without any real knowledge of the things they are assuming.  When you work with people from all over the world, this happens quite frequently.  For me, this helps put things in greater perspective.  Other people, however, seem to forget that there are two sides to every coin.  For everything there is a tradeoff.  The world has to maintain balance somehow.

Let’s take the simple example of climate where people live.  People seem to hold living in Florida against me.  This isn’t meant to be some political global warming propaganda, just simple, time-tested truth.

 

“O you’re from Florida, you can’t handle the cold.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement, or any like it.  First off, because I’m FROM Florida, doesn’t mean I have always lived there.  If you took the time to know me, instead of judging me, you would know that I lived in New England for three years where I slid down a snowy hill on a trash can lid in a pink snow suit.  But thank you for making an assumption.  Secondly, we are having this conversation in Alaska, which is reasonably cold.  Think I did alright there.  I handled Norway and the northernmost city in the world just fine too.  Thank you for asking.

Now, you joke about me not being able to handle the cold, but can you handle the heat?  Have you ever been to Florida in August?  Just because it’s nice when you’re there in December/January thinking it’s a great escape from you snowy land, try coming back in August and then we’ll talk.  We might not have to shovel our cars out of the snow to get to work, but we generally have to put a towel over our seats to not take off the skin when we sit on them.  Or how about having to take four showers a day because the minute you walk outside, you’re covered in sweat again.  Or how about being told not to even go outside because the UV index is so high.  I wonder how your snow-white skin would fare in our August sun.

And rain; don’t even get me started on rain.  “O it rains every day here, you’ll absolutely hate it.”

Again, have you ever been to Florida?  It rains every day here too.  In fact, you can almost time the rain.  The nickname “Sunshine State” is such a misnomer.  Did you know that Florida is actually the lightening capital of the world?  Then there’s the whole other issue of an entire season called HURRICANE SEASON.  So yes, we don’t lose power and miss school for blizzards, but we do lose power and miss school for hurricanes.  Have you ever been put under “24-hour” curfew for 72 hours and stuck with your entire family in a house with no TV, no internet, no phone, no lights, and, worst of all, no A/C – in 96F/34C temperatures?  Have you had to bathe in a swimming pool and boil water to brush your teeth to go to work because you had no running water when there was no power to run your electric well pump?  Long story short, it rains in Florida too.

 

 

This is just an easy example that everyone should be able to understand.  I don’t know at what point it became trendy to “one down” each other.  “O, I have it so much more difficult than you.  You don’t have to deal with A, B, & C!”  Ok, yes, maybe.  But I do have to deal with X, Y, & Z.  Everyone has something they have to deal with.  Just because it might not be the same as what you deal with, doesn’t mean it is any less difficult.

Bottom line, don’t judge people based on where they’re from – especially if it’s not even a place that you have been (tourist trap towns do NOT count!)  You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME.

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