Living Abroad Is Boot Camp For The Soul
Kristi Fuoco reflects on her decision to live life abroad
Was I born with adventure in my heart and soul or did I learn it? Did I get it from my parents who met as two adventurous twenty somethings in a youth hostel in the Swiss Alps? Did it happen the first time they took my sister and I to Greece when I was three years old? I can’t tell you why I love adventure and travel so much. I can’t explain the one thing that made me move far from my home in the beautiful west coast of Canada not just once, but three times.
All I know is, I had to do it. It was as necessary to me as eating or breathing. “I like to think of living abroad as boot camp for the soul.”
We all live abroad for different reasons. For some, like me, we are exploration addicts. We thrive on learning about new cultures, new people, and visiting new places. Life abroad is a bootcamp for our soul, an accelerated learning process for our emotions and for our ways of thinking.
“The practice of soulful travel is to discover the overlapping point between history and everyday life, the way to find the essence of every place, every day: in the markets, small chapels, out-of-the-way parks, craft shops. Curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary moves the heart of the traveler intent on seeing behind the veil of tourism.” – Phil Cousineau (The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred)
Sometimes in this learning process we are tested to our very limits. When times are tough, I imagine I am a rough edged rock that is being tossed along a crazy, wild river with unexpected twists and turns. If I can make it through and keep pushing I will come out as a smooth and glistening stone on the other end.
At the end of the day, this is who I am after all. Travel and living abroad feeds my spirit, excites my mind and tantalises my taste buds.
It’s in my blood and I am never satisfied with the ordinary. With home. Which is ironic since I love home. I long for it like I long for travel, I can’t live without it. I’m torn between two worlds and I haven’t yet found a way to settle in either. This constant feeling of being torn is the price we pay to seek out new adventure and satisfy this longing in our souls.