Setting the Bar High

Location is weighing heavily on my mind these days. This is probably true for anyone throwing themselves into the job market after school, but working overseas right now, I feel particularly untethered.

The amazing thing about having no plans at all is that you end up doing things you couldn’t possibly anticipate. If I had created any kind of plan for myself, I can honestly say it would not have included living and working in Europe after grad school. And so while I am here, I am mainly trying to just let myself enjoy the experience without worrying about the future, though obviously it would be impossible to do that completely.

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4 comments

  1. Great piece! That is exactly what happened to me when I left college.I tried to hard to get a real job back in the states, and every employer was basically telling me I had no experience to fill the position…which was obvious since I had JUST spent the last 4 years in SCHOOL. So I took off to Europe and planned to be there for 2-3 months working and having fun…that was in 2008, and I’m still here.
    Been blogging about my adventures ever since. Sometimes things just happen for a reason. I have lived in Greece, Ireland and now Sweden and traveled all over! But I have never looked back…just gave all those businesses who never hired me the finger!

    • That is so awesome! Looking through your blog is really inspiring – it makes me feel like I can make the leap too! And living in Sweden must be so amazing!

  2. Ha! You know, when I went there, I anticipated the feeling of never wanting to leave, that blood would recognize blood and immediately feel comfortable. Turns out, not so! Maybe things have become more westernized in 8 years or maybe I’ve chilled out and don’t need what the east coast of the US provided me (vegetables. I remember that there were no fresh vegetables). Layers of fantastic architecture spanning from medieval to some of the best art deco bungalows (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (oh, did I mention that they are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?), tons of great museums, and a really excellent public transit system… but super alienating. Not to be a bubble burster. Living with someone I hated was probably a key player in many of my bad memories. Also, the communist hold-over of the food ranging from “you could eat this, mostly” to “wholly inedible”. I hope that they got that under control. It was rough. Everything had frozen corn in it.

    • Oh no! That breaks my heart – my experience was so different! Granted, I only was there for a few days, so my odds of having a good time were maybe better? I would imagine things are at least a little more westernized, though definitely not so much as in, say Austria, ha. Food in restaurants was a little limited, but as a vegetarian that is always my experience when traveling. I just bought fresh things at the grocery store as needed, which is also what I do in Salzburg. The architecture and street art were what had me swooning the most. I also drank some super excellent espresso at a cafe near my hostel, and that is always the most important thing. But I found the people to be generally really nice as well. I stopped in for cold beers at a few places when the heat got too intense for aimless wandering, and encountered only pleasant people. I even saw a young man wearing a Pittsburgh t-shirt, which is to me the universal indicator of comfort.


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