You remember Opal - our first success story from March.
I recently checked in with Opal to find out how she is doing, six months after returning to the US from Italy, moving in Los Angeles, and working as a television producer for the show "The Amazing Race."
Opal is an eloquent writer, so I'll let her speak for herself.
"I have changed for the better since I've returned from abroad. After returning, I moved to a completely new place. Los Angeles is home to people from all over America and the world. It's very rare to run into someone that is actually born and raised in Los Angeles. Although I've always thought of myself as an open-minded individual, traveling and talking with different cultures prepared me for this new life. It's a big place to live and can be overwhelming. Finding and building relationships with people is your biggest asset, and the best way to find your place in this large city. Making relationships with people from different backgrounds abroad has opened me to new relationships here.
"I work with so many people from abroad - the Netherlands, Germany, Chile, Australia...you name it. My colleagues travel the world on a daily basis. As much as I love to hear about their backgrounds, they are just as interested to hear my take on my time abroad. It gives us a common thread. Most of my job interview was discussing travel. We barely talked about my credentials for the job, but rather connected through how passionate we both were about the places we had been.
|Guy in Ireland.|
"Travel is the most rewarding experience. It opens your eyes to new adventures and lifestyles. I'll never forget what a guy in Ireland told me. "The best thing," he said, "that a person can do is to see how others live and experience new places. Seeing these things might change your opinions or your beliefs, or simply give you a new outlook on life. You must hold on to this when you return to your home. Do not forget what you learned while traveling." I try to remember this every day. I can't wait until I can go off to see new places in the future.
"The highs and lows of living abroad changed me: the language barriers, the missed flights, the random strangers, the lifelong friendships. It was more that traveling; it was making relationships and experiencing the days without itineraries that made all the difference."
On a globalmoxie footnote, I'd like to add that, as a young independent traveler in 1995, I too was inspired and comforted by the spirit of the Irish, writing "let me be as happy and as trusting as the Irish, and as brave to meet what is new - people and places alike." There is something about Ireland that just really clicks for many Americans. If you haven't been - go. Rent a bike, cycle between pubs, have a cuppa and a slice of soda bread with real Irish butter, listen to local folk music, soak in the sea air and peat smoke. It will change you.
|Letterfrack, Ireland, Co. Galway|