Growing Up Abroad


In honor of having reached 1,000 views in my first month, I’m going to post about the topic my friend Brian suggested in response to my first post (took me a while, huh?!)

He asked me whether growing up in a foreign country has pushed me to strive for better, has hindered me, or something else altogether. Well Brian, I don’t know if it has been the same for you but I think it has done all three for me.

Moving here when I was 8 was actually pretty traumatic. I had a difficult time making friends since I spoke close to no English, and you know how mean kids can be in elementary school. Home-life was stressful too since members of my family were adapting to the move to varying degrees and emotions were pretty tempestuous for the first few years. So moving here definitely made me more sensitive and emotional, which has hindered me in some ways but has also helped in others.

It did also push me to strive for better though. I like to think that I worked hard in high school. I took some AP courses, took 4 years of Japanese… you get the idea. A big part of this was growing up with a lot of studious, hardworking Asian immigrants.  Wanting to fit in with them motivated me to work even harder than I may have otherwise. I’m sure it helped that I honestly love to learn too.

I'm such a bookworm

My love of learning, paired with the feeling that I didn’t truly fit in (until discovering AIESEC a few years ago =] ), also pushed me to seek fulfillment in learning and self-development. This has been great since I really enjoy learning things by trying different jobs. I’ve had many part-time jobs and internships over the years, acquired a variety of skills from them and made tons of connections (check out my LinkedIn profile)

Lastly, moving to a new country when I was young taught me to appreciate, respect and be open-minded about cultures. I now find them fascinating and try to be careful not to discredit or judge cultures I’m unfamiliar with.

As you can see, it has had a very big influence in my life! What about you? What impact do you think it has had in your life or in the lives of people you know? This is the US after all…

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4 thoughts on “Growing Up Abroad

  1. Sophie, Your experience was very similar to mine: Being a military brat I grew up in many different towns and cities of the USSR with all the rejections of the cruel youths to then “new-girl-on-the-block”.

    Only one big difference: my country-of-birth (native-land) DIED a sudden death !

    Think you particularly can image what effect that had on an impressionable teen-age girl who already felt like she did not “fit-in”.

    Image the effect on YOU if your Beloved Mother-Land, France (Highest-Quality-of-Life land in all of our Beautiful, if beleaguered, spacecraft _Earth_), just deploded & ceased to exist !!!

    The effect of the disappearance of my Mother-Country on me was to make both more Sensitive (colleagues are always seeking me out to confide in me) and Stronger (I have a powerful sense of what is the Right-Way and do it no matter if no one else is ready to hear me).

    You are very fortunate to be returning to the most Beautiful city in the world in the most Wondrous land in the World at a young age!

    Remember the Truth stated by Hemingway in _A Movable Feast_ (which you should read before your return to GAY Paree, if you have not already read it):

    “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

    YOU will be that Fortunate 🙂 !

    You travel forward to The City-o-Light with the Blessing, Best Wishes and Ready Aid of this, your STRONG Sister !!!

    Affectionately & Strongly,

    Olga

    Olga Kovshanova, MBA, MA
    Sales and Guest Relations Manager for CIS, Eastern Europe & Greece
    The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa
    Hotel Professional Extraordinaire
    Email: olinka@olinka.info
    Homepage: http://www.olinka.info/
    Skype name: olinkaru
    ICQ: 212336628
    M: +230-717-5790
    LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kovshanovaolga

  2. BTW: The number of views is not important–only Your Happiness is !!!

    THE ONLY QUESTION: “How to augment You Pleasurefications?”

    Olga Kovshanova, MBA, MA
    Sales and Guest Relations Manager for CIS, Eastern Europe & Greece
    The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa
    Hotel Professional Extraordinaire
    Email: olinka@olinka.info
    Homepage: http://www.olinka.info/
    Skype name: olinkaru
    ICQ: 212336628
    M: +230-717-5790
    LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kovshanovaolga

  3. Thanks for sharing Olya!! Having that kind of experience when you’re young really changes you, doesn’t it! I’m so sorry your homeland ceased to exist =/ I would be very sad if the same thing happened to France…
    And thank you for that reminder that happiness is more important than small achievements =]

  4. Pingback: How young is old? Making the most of the time I have, Part 2 « Anne-Sophie

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