No other question makes me feel more accomplished than “Where do you live now?” Recently, more than one acquaintance, old friend, or old coworker who ran into me in the internet world has asked me that.
Within the last few years or so, I had the itchy feet. Not athlete’s foot, but a compulsion or drive to live in different places and travel the world. Growing up abroad in an international city like Dubai, I missed the diversity, city life excitement, and movement. I have been moving to different places and traveling. The places I lived in were: Argentina, Arizona, Singapore. Once I considered the UK (Liverpool specifically), but that didn’t happen. I’m truly an international or global citizen. I like being a true non-conformist. It doesn’t come by fashion trends or conforming to a subculture. For me, it’s traveling the world and thinking outside the box.
I also spent time visiting many countries. My younger cousins thought it was cool. Some of my relatives didn’t understand me. One of my uncles asked me, “So, what is your ultimate goal?”
I answered, “Live life to the fullest. Thanks to all these travel ventures, I have tons of stories. Why be like everyone else?” Of course, he looked at me like I’m some kind of an oddball. I have to sigh at the typical middle-class Indian mentality of the 90s and earlier. This seems to be one difference between the older generation and younger generation of Indians. I have goals but that doesn’t mean that goals don’t change, or that mistakes and failures won’t happen.
The world is a large place. Only when I started to explore, I discovered that life offers so much. I enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life in my journey. I’m even happy to know that my Facebook friends come from all backgrounds, countries, religious backgrounds and views, political views. I love it that I can learn from simply socializing with different people. Sometimes, this is better than getting an MFA degree in Writing. I have many memories and experiences that can be turned into art.
When I’m an old lady someday, you’re not going to look at me thinking, “Aww cute little old lady.” You’ll instead be wondering what I’m up to lately. That’s what I hope. I want to keep living it up till I die.