Here’s to Another Year in Another Place

Here we are again, and it feels like only yesterday I was starting my job in Budapest, thinking how new everything felt and wondering how long it would take for Budapest to feel like home. Now I’m sitting in my new room in Taipei, wondering the same thing. How long will it take for this to be home? When will I start to recognize the different streets that all look like a slightly familiar but chaotic blur of colors and smells right now? When will I know the best place to buy my groceries, as opposed to buying last minute meals at the 7-11 closest to home? How long before I find a favorite restaurant, or take the metro without looking up to make sure I haven’t missed my stop?

I can’t recall how soon those things fell into place in Dubai, or Istanbul or Budapest. But what I can recall is thinking this in Budapest and feeling not so long after that it had finally happened. I had friends and a routine and that familiar feeling of home in Budapest so much sooner than I had in Istanbul. Truth be told, I’m not sure I ever felt at home in Istanbul, not the way I did in Budapest. And here we are again in Taipei and I have that same feeling that I had in Budapest, and I know that it won’t take quite so long this time either. It’s one of those things that you don’t notice until one day you’re on the metro or sat in a café or walking to work and you realize, this is home. Not that you’ve just realized where you’re living, but that you’ve just realized that it really doesn’t feel new anymore. It feels comfortable and safe and you’re no longer out of place in this city.

I’m starting to realize that every time I move, it gets easier. I’ve been in Taipei for almost three weeks and I’ve moved into a new flat, made some new friends, been on a few dates, seen some of Taipei and even some places outside of Taipei, sorted out all the immigration paperwork (the health check, getting fingerprints done, etc.) and began my new job. I guess the reason it keeps getting easier with every move is because every move has taught me new things about myself, and about the act of moving in general. Every time I do this I feel more confident. What’s most important is that I feel confident that I’ve made the right decision, and that I will continue to do so, and that no matter how hard things get, they will work out in the end. I’ve learned to adjust my expectations, change my perspectives, and let go of the little things, but I’ve come to realize that being positive is the most important thing. I always have an unshakeable feeling that things can always get better, and will, as long as I am making the most out of every situation. This is what has made each move easier than the last. I can recall sitting in the airport in Amsterdam on the way to Dar es Salaam the day after graduation back in 2014 thinking what the hell am I doing? I didn’t have a plan, or any money behind me, or the surety that it was the right thing. I did it anyway and although things didn’t work out the way I had planned, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that move that might or might not have been a terrible decision. This is what has changed since then; on my layover in Dubai on the way to Taipei, I had absolutely no second thoughts. All I was thinking about was how much I was looking forward to the great food and bubble tea in Taiwan. I was tired, and sad to be leaving my friends in Budapest, and I had no idea what awaited me here in Taipei, but I had no doubts at all about the move.

So here’s to another year in another place!