a bunch of stuff
Love this Twin! I like the name Brian for the snail ;) I need a snail in my life too. This piece really resonates with me on all the Internal Weather reasons.
Congrats! Four years is the time spent in high school and college. The transformation from freshman to senior years is remarkable.
Loneliness is kind of like grief and money - universal concerns that are rarely discussed. None of us is escapes loneliness- whether we live alone or with others (my loneliest days were while living with another). It’s interesting that you have made countless immigrants feel less lonely by helping with their transitions. A reflection of your empathic nature.
This article really resonated with me. "A stew of feelings to deal with" indeed! Self survival kicks in and it's exhausting. The rug has been yanked from beneath your feet and you temporarily forget how to stand up. Your life is no longer on auto pilot and predictable. You battle daily with the unfamiliar and grapple to learn something new every day. Culture shock will continue but in weakening waves for about two years but it gets easier and as these new surroundings become "home". You end up referring to two homes and perhaps more if you've moved around a lot, and you love and miss certain things about all of them.
Great post,dipped into some of your previous,fantastic. Proof of the wings and winds of change, certain thoughts,themes,feelings come through collectively, you are writing with your heart beat on the Schumann,yep..... woke up this morning,don't believe what I saw, 100 million castaways looking for a home.All the best to you in Portugal.Keep shining your light.
On the tangent of "expect loneliness & accept help from others" ....it's the perfect opportunity to practice Being a Friend to make new friends.
Congratulations on your anniversary! I loved reading your post, it resonated w me as I thought back over my two overseas moves and how I felt at the beginning of each one. The crazy carousel of emotions, fears, vulnerabilities all unfolding into beautiful friendships made, and a deep appreciation to be open to new adventures. Those included every day tasks to the more exciting, but each day brought a feeling like I was truly living in the moment. I hope each year brings you more and more happiness as you settle into Portugal. Love your snail tattoo, made me think of the name Suzy :)
Congratulations! Perhaps your snail could be nicknamed "Dali / Dally"?
Great advice based on your experience. Thank you.
I loved this article! My husband and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary on October 23rd and I really thought I’d feel more ‘settled’ by now. Your comments really put things in perspective for me and made me feel better about my own frustrations and tears. Thank you! BTW: I like the name Cici (the snail) for your tattoo 😊. Katie
I definitely resonated with this post, even though I'm only in year 2 in Lisbon.
Congratulations on 4 years as an American expat in Portugal! Love your tattoo! Think she should be called Sally the Snail! I admire your courage and dedication to your dream of a new life in a new land. I only wish I had followed your lead.
Bill from Texas 🌹
Hi Shanna! Great post as always. Congratulations on your 4-year anniversary of your move! After some recent life-altering news hit my marriage, I might be looking to move abroad. But I’m thinking England, because A) I know the language ; ) and B) I have friends there. Gotta muddle through the muck here in my “real” life first, though. But you’ve given me courage that if you can do an international move, maybe so could I! I hope you have a great day!
Thank you for permission to cry! I needed to hear that! I've cried several times since getting here and struggling with various things. <3 And I have no idea how anyone does this alone. Building a network (thank you fb groups and also oddly language tutors) is vital to not completely losing it!
Wow! That's gone quickly, well done! The two covid years just seem like a blur now. I love the snail, he's lovely! I agree, we all need people even though we hate them sometimes, some more than others! But we do need them. Great writing Shanna, you seem to have the hopes and dreams of us all. Thank you! xx
What a spirited, thoughtful post, Shanna! Congratulations to four years!
Yay! Congrats! I remember about 5 years ago, sitting down for coffee in San Diego and talking about this dream, this plan. You're doing it, and with a lot of grace. I want to take you out for coffee in person instead of clicking here. Soon, I hope :)