Even as a teenager, I preferred to stay at home than to go out with my friends. I am one of those people who like to stay in their comfort zone and see everything new with skepticism. I think that was the reason why everyone thought that I won’t be able to live outside of Latvia for long. But here I am – four years in England, one year in Sweden, and now I write from a cork tree farm in sunny Portugal.
I choose to work and study outside of Latvia, and I don’t regret it even for a bit, even though sometimes it is challenging. This experience has made me freer in my opinions. While I was getting to know different cultures and people, my self-made wall of how my life should be is gone. Now I feel like my opportunities are endless – I can work on a farm in Brazil or in an office in Washington. That means that my decisions now will affect my life in the future. In western European societies, even now, there are still these views about a successful and happy person’s life (I don’t know why still these concepts go hand in hand). You must choose your profession – studies – making a career – marriage – kids, I don’t see this way as the only way how to spend my time in this world. Every single one of these paths can be wonderful.
But the most valuable lesson I gained is that the world accepts me the way I am – with all my pros and cons. I got to this lesson in London. I thought that even a very insecure person here can feel free – sing out loud in the metro or walk around in dinosaur costumes around the city center. For me, London is like a small layout of the world. It is the city where all different cultures, personalities are converged into one. You can feel multiculturalism in all different ways. Maybe that is the reason why these people are a lot less prejudiced and more open to welcome new and different.
I Love Latvia, and it will always be my home, but now I make roots in different places that I go to. If you think about it that every single place has a little place in the universe. I’m not inviting everyone to travel, but I encourage those who are afraid of it. I believe that with traveling you have nothing to lose, only to gain. Your home will always wait for you, but if not, then you will make your own home in a different corner of the world.
I graduated from the University of East London with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Dance Practice and a diploma from Åsa Folkhögskola 5-style dance course. This includes the qualification of a fitness trainer. I was born and raised in Latvia, but in the autumn I plan to go back to England to look for a job. I am still deciding on the area in which I want to work. At the moment, my profession is traveling and volunteering in various sectors – agriculture, hospitality, fur farming, and environmental sustainability.
Author: Kristīne Brante