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Old 08.02.2011, 22:27
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The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

So, I am in a bit of a homesickness slump, what with the gorgeous summer in Australia, floods, cyclones and bushfires...and a bit nostalgic about the sort of life I had as a child...

And my kids, having been dragged all the way around the world (more than once)...would have perhaps what you consider 'broader horizons'....

Do you think you can ever go back to 'narrow horizons' once they have been broadened ? What I mean is, only holiday in your local area, spend every weekend at home or the local parks/shops...save and spend every dollar in the same currency ?

Discuss ....
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Old 08.02.2011, 22:44
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

I suppose anything is possible if you put your mind to it and if you really want it. One way of phrasing it could be 'contentment with where you are and what you have' and I take my hat off to people who are able to have that and be content to live their life in their now local surroundings, holiday in Switzerland, hang out at the parks during the holidays and live a very local life.

I don't want that personally, I need to get away, I need to see other places, hear other voices. I need the re-energizing aspect of visiting the UK, relaxing in a familiar place with familiar humour. But that's just me. It affects my mind-set and perspective here and gives me more energy and ultimately more to offer as a mum/wife and in my job.

When I lived in the UK I also needed to travel - to see different countries, hear different people's stories and gain different perspectives. Although these days I live a much more settled life - in my 20's I worked in the States, Japan, Australia and Denmark and spent months on end backpacking alone through Asia, Egypt and Australia.

Nowadays, I live a life of routine most of the year, but intersperse that with very frequent trips to the UK, Spain, Holland - for work and to visit friends. It keeps the mind open and reminds me that the world is a much bigger place than the number 12 bus each morning. My husband knew I was a bit of a free spirit when we met........and has never begrudged me that.

So not doing that would be very difficult for me. But for many people not doing that is perfectly fine.
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Old 08.02.2011, 22:51
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

No.... you can only move forward *sad smile* no matter where you go you will be a foreigner because you take with you, your experiences, the culture you've inherited without realizing. Your surroundings are constantly changing you.
So should you go back one day, people might find you're not quite one of them anymore (perhaps you automatically sweep the sidewalk to keep it tidy ) or you stay here and build new roots accepting that your generation is the immigrant generation and that your children will consider themselves to be Swiss and speak a language you would never have dreamed of.
You belong to a new expat migrant world, it's like a nationality in itself.
But it doesn't take anything away from you. It enriches your horizons.. there's just no going back to the way things were before, because you are not as you were before.
Just my opinion.

Last edited by Sky; 08.02.2011 at 23:16.
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Old 08.02.2011, 22:51
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

Once you go black you never go back...

That's a famous cliche about Africa. Many families which fancied greener grass on the other side, unhappy with their either political or economical status had left in pursuit for peculiarities of the olden world as we know it, where their ancestors hail from. They desired education of superior and faster developing EU, which abunded with philosophers and scientists. We believed that our horizons were narrow and felt inferior that we are backward and behind the rest of the civilization.

So they ventured to the Swiss-der-land where miniature fields with cows grazing on the pastures where size of the peanut in comparison to vast prerries in country of Oz and outstreching lowvelds in Qwa-Qwa land.

Soon they realized that despite those shiny things, automation, fast pace of life and exorbitant food prices, the quality of the products was artificially inflated. Most of all their yearned for social life and simple talking shit to stranger kind of conversations but here they were always adressed per Herr and Frau. The people were so radical and rationalized that it made them feel homesick.

Someday they have had it and decided to return to their beloved lands and dunes to enjoy basking in the sun again. Then they uttered: mom and dad I'm happy to be back. No need to panic as my heart is constantly with you dear Africa.
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Old 08.02.2011, 22:58
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No...

No..you cant put the toothpaste back in the tube and you cant change the effects of travel that make you realize we really are all in this together. I suppose that if you dont know what your missing then you just dont know...right?

And ..im not entirely sure of the veracity of "once you go black..."statement above. Sorry..sounds fake to me. I thought it had other....connotations.

Love ya!

Russ
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Old 08.02.2011, 23:03
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Re: No...

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No..you cant put the toothpaste back in the tube and you cant change the effects of travel that make you realize we really are all in this together. I suppose that if you dont know what your missing then you just dont know...right?

And ..im not entirely sure of the veracity of "once you go black..."statement above. Sorry..sounds fake to me. I thought it had other....connotations.

Love ya!

Russ
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Actually most of the time...
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Old 08.02.2011, 23:11
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

I know how you feel.

I spent my childhood in Vancouver and then spent my teenage school years in the Bahamas and hardened up in London. 'Home' is technically Vancouver. I saved a lot of money in work and 'went home' to Vancouver and then left again 3 months after buying a house there. I just found it 'not me' anymore. My Vancouver house is now a pension fund.

I blame National Geographic for my nomadic tendancies. I had stacks of these mags and from about age 4 and way into my teens. My father is a judge so there would always be exotic visitors coming and going from our house, he's always travelling, living everywhere with his work. There's cool people to 'adopt' me all over the world if I need a bit of pampering or access to a proper Christmas tree. My job takes me all over the place. I have three passports and feel strong allegiance to all my countries as a sort of nomadic Commonwealth person.

My accent is all over the place. I have tan lines from three different countries. I know quite a few old school friends who haven't done much but they're still bloody hilarious, good friends. I'm 39, happy and still curious about tomorrow.
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Old 08.02.2011, 23:16
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

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Once you go black you never go back...

That's a famous cliche about Africa.
It is, but not in the way you think it is...
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Old 08.02.2011, 23:22
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

I don't believe you can go "back" even if you do in a geographical sense, you have so many different experiences and opinions (some better some not) than those who stayed, you end up being an expat in your homeland!! I don't miss Australia a lot now but I do miss my mates where (as others have said) you can just spend a night talking shit and feel a lot better the next day, even with a hangover. It is hard to build those relationships here, the Swiss (from mid 30s on) are just too loyal to old friends, even when they don't fit anymore, to have "room" or "time" to develop new friends. For our/your kids your travelling is their middle of the road, one lane leads to settlement, one to travel, they will choose, just at we all did.
Swisspea - another great post to remind me to get out to some EF events, to meet some more expats, so I can feel more at home here
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Old 08.02.2011, 23:30
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

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It is, but not in the way you think it is...
Wanted it to sound rather poetic, didn't have in mind this particular connotation
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Old 08.02.2011, 23:30
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

Agreed - been back in my native Jura after 40 years in UK and bouts in Germany, France, Italy + lots of exchanges, travelling.
I have many friends here still, some I went to school with for 15 years! A foot in 2 camps now - and firmly rooted in both, and yet, feeling very free.
It can be done - but things will never be the same and neither will you be (thank goodness). Strange, bizarre - wonderful.

You do end up being the 'Devil's advocate' on many fronts though - as you can see/feel things from different angles, and see stereotypes for what they are. Not always an easy position to be in. C'est la vie. Love it.

Last edited by Odile; 08.02.2011 at 23:52.
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Old 09.02.2011, 00:06
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Re: The opposite of "broadening your horizons"

My favourite film director, Ingmar Bergman, wrote a sentence in an interview, which I found to be interesting and struck a deep cord.

What he said was 'his truth', and it was " The ugly truth is, we all live by our needs"...
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