It is this exact concept that motivated me to make Germany my home. I mostly did not enjoy high school in the U.S. But my year in Germany on an exchange showed me right away that I could leave all that baggage behind.
So after that exchange year, I decided I needed to come live here again. University, employment, etc., and 7 years (as of yesterday) here I (still) am.
Thanks for the reminder.
I remember being very excited about this concept when I first moved abroad (after already moving interstate), aged 21 or so. I think I was pretty disappointed to realise that I still just kept on being the same ol’ me regardless of where I was!
I agree, you will always be fundamentally the same person you are no matter where in the world you are. However, being somewhere where no one has expectations of what you should be like based on your past is very freeing and allows different elements of your personality to shine.
Cliff – My sister and I learned a similar (possibly less extreme) lesson by going to summer camp as kids – if not for that I’m not sure how I would have turned out, but it definitely gave me confidence knowing that there were other ways to be and ways to start over!
Also on the being anyone you want to be concept – I love that if I seem a little strange here, people will think it’s just because I’m a foreigner and not that I’m a freak. :) On the flip side, though, it’s harder for me to pick up on signals that a particular German is strange – I have one German friend that all the other German friends think is very weird, but I don’t see anything wrong with him!
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