If you hear something once it's just random. If you hear something twice in the same week it's a coincidence. Once you hear something 3 times it solidifies in your mind as a trend.
And sometimes those trends piss me off.
I was just reading a series on archinect called 'Working out of the Box' which is about young architects / architecture grads who aren't following the prototypical path to architecture, either through necessity because they can't find work or by choice because they have a different view of what architecture means.
So there's this feature about a recent grad from Canada who is trying to get funding for publication of her thesis, an illustrated guide to squatting. She has been travelling around basically living the situations she describes in her thesis, that is, squatting... and getting by doing odd-jobs like picking fiddleheads. The article itself was not so interesting, but one of the comments was:
I was wondering if she had any college loans she needs to pay back or is she a trust fund baby who gets to wonder the globe?
This is the third occurrence this week for me that I've heard this opinion about people who study, live, or work abroad for a period of time, or spend significant amounts of time travelling, or generally lead a less settled life.
If you do any of those things, here are your options according to general public opinion:
1. Your family is rich and happily provide you every indulgence so you can lead your fabulous life;
(cue general resentment)
2. You are committing debt fraud and/or are receiving mysterious 'benefits' from the government, i.e., living off the back of the hardworking taxpayer;
(cue people saying that you are putting off 'real life' and 'escaping responsibility')
Apparently people have never considered the possibility of a third option:
3. Life doesn't cost any more in other countries than it does in North America, so you do not really need more money to live somewhere else.
The only real key to living abroad? Being okay with uncertainty.
As long as you can handle not knowing where you're going to live in the next month, not knowing if your host country will deport you or grant you a visa, and are fine with depending on yourself to make things happen... you'll be quite fine.