Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Living in two countries - 2 - The pros and cons

Feeling the wind and smelling the salty sea air with the prince of sun at the beautiful Taperapuan Beach in Porto Seguro in December, climbing the rocky Gertelsbacher waterfalls with my dear mum in the land of milk and honey in April and having a nice cup of tea in a lovely Hampstead Heath or Camden café in August with "the dance girl"!
Here a few pros and cons for having your heart (and stuff) in different places:


-you never get bored of one place, discovering each city and culture (even especially your own culture and the new cultures you have embedded into your DNA) again every time you live in the other place (and, after some time, again miss the place you have stayed in before)

-the rich variety of FOODS and DRINKS, I love Brazilian fresh juices and fruits, the delicious churrascos (barbecues) at the beach. Then again, arriving at home from a Hampstead Heath walk in chilly (red nose effect!) Febrary and having a hot cup of tea and English scones with clotted cream and strawberry sauce. But nothing is better than a real German Sunday breakfast on the terrasse with my most beloved parents, anything from eggs, the most wonderful Bauernbrot (farmer's bread) or Laugen bread (BRETZEL!) with butter and jam, cheeses, joghurt, granola, fruits, orange juice... the list is ENDLESS.

-good for travel lovers and discovery-hungry gipsy souls amongst us

-you are able to maintain your different languages, in my case German, English and Brazilian Portuguese

-you get the different weather and landscapes

-you can choose the place which is cheaper to generally live in and have your insurances etc in that place as well

-having family and friends in different places who have their individual hobbies and personalities, for example one of my London friends who is an absolute dance fanatic (let's call her "the dance girl"), another friend that shares my cultural and research interests (let's call her "the culture girl") etc... So you can catch up with those friends when being there and enjoy of those individual activities, sure, talking on the internet makes everything easier, but face to face really does not compare and connects you to the place through those special people - in fact it is the people you met that mark you most*


-culture shocks and adapting period that generally hits during the first few weeks

-expensive, as you often have costs for flights and need to have two of each household thing/clothes in those places, although most of my warm clothes stay in Europe and most of my summer clothes here in Brazil, but very often you need something that you have forgotten in your other home, you often send parcels around (and hope those arrive, ...)

-3(!) different currencies..... Reais=R$ in Brazil, Pounds=£ in London and Euros=€ in Germany

-adaption period in terms of health, you might get a cold/heat shock due to drastic temperature change and your stomach might go crazy due to the different foods and dishes

-insurances often only cover the country you are living in, so you always need to think about travel insurances

-a "normal" job doesn t work with this life style, so best is if you are working through the internet or work as a travel agent in those countries

-*having friends and family in different places can also be daunting, especially when you or one of them is unwell and you cannot be with them due to the distance, yes, I am also referring to the SEHNSUCHT (~home sickness) or SAUDADES - you always miss someone. Whereever you are...

*I might update this list later on...

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