I am first generation born Taiwanese-American. Growing up and living in the United States is all I’ve ever known. Sure, I got to spend my summers in Taiwan and have juggled both cultures throughout my life. I have traveled extensively and dreamed of living in a foreign land. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would end up living in Europe.
People may think ” Wow…what an opportunity!” and that living abroad is all sunshine and sprinkles. It is an opportunity of a lifetime, but not without sacrifices. I can now truly understand what my parents went through to come to United States in their mid-twenties. It’s hard. Really hard. There are so many things to consider. Hubs and I are practically “starting over” in our early thirties.
For instance, if something goes wrong with a product, like cell phone billing for instance, how does one even begin to call and fix that? It would lead a person to feeling helpless. Back in the States, it’s such an easy task that we take for granted. Many times, paying for goods and the total price is spoken in another language. You either have to bend over to read the screen or ask the cashier if they speak English. Yet, another task that we normally wouldn’t stop and think of back in the U.S.
Every time I run into a situation where I can’t use English, I think of my mom. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that she struggled so much when she immigrated to the U.S. It was much harder for her than me. She still relies heavily on my sister and me, and to this day has some trouble with the language and culture.
I love that I’ve been given this experience and know that I do have it easier than my mom. The next few months of settling in are going to be challenging, but we’re up for it. What’s life without challenges?