A piece by Stephanie Spicer…

Not too long ago, actually a few days, a student by the name of Stephanie Spicer asked me if I could host a post for her on my blog. Naturally I obliged, and within a few days, I received this document below. And it set me thinking.. how brave are people who face such an upheaval in their lives? I think they are PLENTY brave, and reading her words will make you realise, too, how much home means… so here goes…

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Hi. My name is Stephanie, and Chris was nice enough to let me write an article for his blog. 

I am from America. Last summer I came to work at an English school in Malta, and have been living here ever since. People often ask me why I came here, why I chose Malta. It is a crazy story that I sometimes can’t believe myself.

Because my parents are English and German, several people had encouraged me to apply for a European passport. At first I was skeptical. I was in need of a place to go, but Europe seemed far away for a move, and anyway, I had always loved America.

But I began to see drastic changes happening in my country which made me rethink the wisdom of staying there. My résumé mirrored the downward spiral of the economy around me, and I knew that the longer I stayed, the poorer I would be, and if I had children, they would grow up with even less opportunities.

I applied for a German passport, and was able to get it much more easily than I had thought possible. Someone had told me Malta was a good place to live, so one Saturday, I applied to every English school in Malta that I could find on-line.

By Wednesday, I was asked for a Skype interview. On Thursday I had an offer of employment, on Friday I handed in my notice at my job, on Saturday bought my plane ticket, and two weeks later I was on a plane to Malta!

Everything happened so fast that I almost didn’t believe it was real. I didn’t experience culture shock per se—I had been to Europe before, and this wasn’t so different to other places I’d been.

The biggest struggle I had was inside myself.

I had always lived with my family, and learning to live alone, I found, was more than just logistics. It was dealing with such demons as loneliness and silence. I made friends. I enjoyed my job. I loved all the treasures Malta had to discover. But still I sometimes felt so alone and stranded that I wondered why I’d come.

One of the students from the school, with whom I shared housing for a time, was facing a similar dilemma. She was moving to a new city in Germany, away from her family, where it was “cosy.” She said a friend had told her, “You need to make yourself a cosy place in Berlin.”

I came to realise this as well. It surprised me to learn that it was only when things stopped being exciting, and became normal, did I start to feel at home in my new place. I had always loved adventure and discovery, but sometimes, it seems, coming home means little more than a ceasing to strive, a coming to rest….

1 thought on “A piece by Stephanie Spicer…

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