Monday, January 6, 2014

Reflections on Being Abroad

I’ve noticed that I’m comparing my time in Sweden with Malta. I remember being rather sad that I wasn’t going home for the holidays, but I had a couple of months prior to prepare and get used to it. I didn’t have time to prepare in Malta. The holidays were just around the corner.

I have felt extremely fortunate to celebrate Yule/Christmas, our first anniversary, and New Years with CK. We used Skype to talk with our families, cooked fabulous meals (without an oven), explored Msida, Gżira, and Valletta, and have taken the time to just relax. For the first time in years, I’m consistently sleeping eight hours or more and do not feel obligated to be ‘on’ all the time. I feel more present, more real. 

In Sweden, it was easier to cope because I was in an environment I was used to; that is, a university setting. I lived on campus, surrounded by international and Swedish students alike, my boyfriend at the time living in the apartment across the hall from me. It was like George Mason University, only snowier and with more fikas. But my time in Malta is different: while I initially came here for college credit toward my Masters, and I do have another class or two to take, this is for 'real life' experience. This is for a job. I had to figure out where I was going to be living, how to manage a budget for food, rent, and utilities. After CK left for Rome, I immediately had to start learning how to live with myself. After tomorrow, I will be doing what I came here to do.

Vegetarian & Dairy-free Panna Cotta / Stovetop Eggplant Parmesan / Valletta

That scares the hell out of me.

And the hardest part is trying to get out of this Meals with Morri rut and actually coming up with recipes that work. (I cannot wait to have a working oven.)

On the plus side, it has been a nice break. I know the where the closest supermarkets are and what the fastest route to work is (with kitties everywhere). I’d been helping CK grade exams before he went back to school in Rome and am currently thinking of what I could write on Meals with Morri. Photography and writing look to be my artistic outlets of choice, and I hope to improve both while I’m here, maybe with some sewing and painting in between.

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