Imagine, if you can, living in one place for the next 24 years. Seems a little bit stretched out and distant, right? Now, I have not been able to remember living…well, anywhere until I was around five or seven. Still, I have lived in this state my entire life. I know its streets, its hotspots, the shortcuts, the favorite eats. I know Illinois. Illinois is comfortable. Illinois is well known, to me. Very soon, I will be leaving this land that I have called home, that I have enjoyed being apart of, and moving to a new world. It might as well be a new world.
I have had time to do a fair bit of thinking while I find an occupation and secure passage to New Zealand. I have thought a great deal about all of my friends who daily build me up and support me in my selfish desire to become happy. They happily oblige and humor me. I don’t know if I will ever be without friends in this life. I have met so many beautiful people in my travels and experiences. Many of these people I have known since I was little, Luke Blauw, Eric Brown, Tara Biscan, Mike Elliott, Nate Leslie, Debbie Leslie, Rose Scheid, the list goes on. Many friendships I have developed while away, David Goodwin, Jenn Bosma, Jeremiah Mannschreck, Nate DeJong, Dan Prins, Jeff Stern, Jeremiah Mallin, Matt Faber, Cody Cooper, Tyler Plockmeyer, etc. Many I have only recently become friends with, Matthew Bailey, Justin Van Wyk, Kyle Lefere, Alex Hayes, Eric Du, Alex Bourge, Katie Yockey, Lisa Marshall, etc. Also those I have met in the field of Social Work.
I have obviously left out most of my friends, please don’t be offended. It was not intentional.
It is safe to say that with the list of friends that I am already making in NZ: Jeremy Vargo, Zach Jacobsen, Samantha Merkle, Lawrence Tuck, Leand Macadaan, Hugh Drinkwater, Elena Cleary, and of course, Corbin Elliott, in whom I’ve known since I was 15, that I wont have any trouble making a family overseas. Still, it’s not that easy…it never really is.
If moving away from everything you know is as easy as saying, “Home is where the Heart is,” making a new family, and calling home every once and a while, then anyone would be able to do it. There is additional culture shock that, even in a westernized country, will have people inside of a month buying a plane ticket home. The distance away from home can be daunting to overseas movers also. Everything about the country you live in will be a constant reminder that you are NOT home. You will begin to hate everything and just want to cuddle up on your favorite couch, or go eat at your favorite little hotspot.
Don’t. Don’t buy that plane ticket. Tough out those first months. You will kick yourself hard when you are sitting back home and letting the reality sink in that you let a perfectly good adventure slip right through your finger tips. This is self therapy moment people. I am not only speaking to you, but myself. I am the man who has lived in One Place his whole entire life. Now is my time. This is my journey set before me. I step with anticipation.