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Find Motivation and Purpose After Your Life in the US
Gabby: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode : “Find Motivation and Purpose After Your Life in the US.”
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ from Boston, USA.
Lindsay: In today’s episode, you’ll find out why re-entry, going home from living in the US might be harder than you think.
Gabby: Hey Lindsay.
Lindsay: Hey Gabby. How are you doing?
Gabby: I’m doing great. How are you?
Lindsay: Cool. Pretty good, pretty good.
Gabby: Good. I really liked (uh), your friend yesterday who we spoke with (um), Cate…
Gabby: …Brubach about (uh)…
Lindsay: Brubaker, yeah.
Gabby: Bru-, Brubaker.
Lindsay: Yep, yep.
Gabby: Sorry. (Um), yeah she was talking yesterday on (uh), our Wednesday episode about (um), finding your identity, your purpose, your motivation after you come home or after you go home from living abroad, in this case, living in the US and then going home to where you’re from, let’s say, Japan or Germany or Italy or wherever, (right).
Lindsay: And one of the things that I thought was really interesting is, isn’t it so easy to get stuck (uh), with an identity of ourselves? For example, I’m the person who lives abroad, (right). Having that…
Lindsay: …idea about yourself as being someone who doesn’t live in your home country. That’s so easy to get stuck with that.
Gabby: Yeah, yeah. And then when you go back home, it’s (like), well, all of a sudden, you’re living at home and what happened to that identity of being the, the expat?
Lindsay: Right, and now who were – who are you when you’re at home? So one of the things that Cate suggested, is if you guys wanna (want to) flip back to yesterday’s episode, you can listen to it from her, but she talked about instead of focusing on that identity of yourself as a, as the international (uh) traveler or person who lives abroad, think about what were the things that made you happy while you were living abroad? Was it learning a language? Was it being in an international community, eating…
Lindsay: …new food, what was it? And recreate your life maybe in your home country or think about going back abroad. But don’t cling to an identity either way.
Gabby: Right, right. And you have a, a good quote that goes (uh) with this idea.
(Um), do you mind if I read it?
Lindsay: Yes, please.
Gabby: All right, so Lao Tzu says, “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”
Lindsay: Wow, that’s deep.
Gabby: Yeah, so right. When you let go of that idea of, ‘Oh, I am, I’m an expat,’ (right), when you go back home, then there’s room to be who you are or, or engage in those activities that you enjoyed abroad.
Lindsay: (I mean), this is something that I’ve struggled with over the past three or four years. (You know), I went abroad and – well, it’s been longer than that. I we-, I went right in 2007…
Lindsay: …and I had that identity of being this backpacker, this international traveler.
Lindsay: And then I moved to New York and I was living – and then I moved to Boston and I thought, “Well, who am I now if I’m not traveling every year, if I’m not living abroad, who am I?”
Lindsay: And I’m still struggling with this thing, this idea of what to do and what’s right.
Gabby: Right, yeah. I think (um), there’s a big adjustment when you come back and figuring out, (you know), what you wanna (want to) do or if you wanna (want to) travel again or live abroad again or, or stay in your home country and maybe bring your experiences to your home country to, to use those, those new skills that you worked on abroad.
Lindsay: (Hm). And so for you, Gabby, what kinds of things have you done to create (like) the life that you like here? What were the aspects of being abroad that you liked and how have you created those here in Boston?
Gabby: Well, I like working with international students. So here in Boston there are a lot of international students and (uh), just working with them, (you know), it makes me very happy to help them to understand English and American culture.
Lindsay: Just being in those circles, maybe making friends from abroad…
Lindsay: …(you know), always pushing – trying to push your language skills and that’s something that I’ve done, too, and also teaching…
Lindsay: …English to students.
Gabby: Yeah, absolutely.
Lindsay: Yeah, so that’s…
Lindsay: …interesting, isn’t it? It’s a tough topic but we wanna (want to) – we just wanna (want to) recognize that this is a big issue and, (you know), if you guys are headed home, (um), just think about it before you, before you go home. It might not be the smoothest transition necessarily. We expect that when we go home it’s just gonna (going to) be so easy ‘cause (because) it’s our home country.
Gabby: Yeah, and you might think that everything will be the same as when you left but oftentimes it’s not the same because you have changed or maybe things have changed back in your home country.
Lindsay: Exactly, for – possibly your home country, possibly the friends around you, your family members might have changed.
Lindsay: Maybe your family members will see how you’ve changed and they won’t like that.
Lindsay: It’s a whole lot of different things.
Lindsay: (Um), so if you do start to feel (kind of) low and (kind of) sad when you get home, don’t, don’t (um), don’t get upset with yourself for feeling that way.
Gabby: Yeah, you just have to (kind of) re-evaluate, (you know), what, what is your identity now that you’re home.
Lindsay: (Uh-huh), and does identity even matter, (right)?
Lindsay: That’s the – the, the basic piece. Does it even matter? It’s – maybe it’s more about what I’m doing everyday and stop thinking so much about who I am.
Gabby: Right. And, and how can you bring your experiences and your new skills from living abroad into your life, (uh), in your home country.
Lindsay: Yeah, there you go. Okay, so thanks, guys.
Gabby: If you love All Ears English and you want to seriously improve to the advanced Native-(like) level of English, we made a premium subscription package for you with more support. What do you get? You get audio and text transcripts of each new episode when they’re released. You get practical learning tips every week. You get an exclusive subscriber’s version of our e-book, “How to Improve Your English with a Podcast,” and you get all the previous text transcripts, Episodes 1 through 88 and you guys can ask direct questions. You can communicate directly with Lindsay and myself, Gabby, to ask any question about English. So it’s a huge value.
You can find that subscription package on our website at allearsenglish.com/conversations, that’s c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n-s. See you there!
Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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