Adventures in Culture and Travel

12 July, 2012

The Never Ending Story of Moving to Europe

I imagine that this is my first "real" post since arriving home from Egypt last year. The last post, titled Busking in a Brussels Metro Station: The Future and Beyond, pretty much summed up every intention I had for the last year. Then Sheep Under The Sea hit the book-shelves which pretty much explained everything. The book was sold without any mark-up (at-cost), because I felt the message was that important. It has become more popular than I ever expected. Life, as we say it, went on. I became consumed with school, graduating at GTCC, and transferring to UNCG. Upon arrival, I immediately pursued their International Program Center about going to school in Brussels. After a bit of paperwork, and a ton of money, I now sit waiting for adventure with a Belgian visa, and a airline ticket to Belgium on the August 19th.

I'm less than forty days from now, I'm moving to Europe, and I should be excited as can be (which I am), however a persistent atmosphere of unease is around me. Money being the huge issue. While my studies are paid for through student loans, I still have to come up with transportation (Le Metro), books, and an art fee not included in the exchange, and what little financial aid is left over, is unlikely to be available to me until several weeks after arriving. I'm officially in Top-Ramen mode.

Then there's the family. My spouse and kids are staying behind. There's been several indicators from friends and family that what I'm doing is nothing short of family abandonment. While certainly there is a value to the time I will lose with those, it is my hopes- that what we gain as a family is far greater. More importantly, there is no going back, there is not "out" now even if I wanted to. Indeed even if I did (which I don't) how could I wake each morning and look at my children, knowing I failed to be the best parent I could to them by becoming the best person I could be? Every day they'd look at me like I look at others, a shell of broken dreams, un-fulfilled, because they were to scared to sacrifice that which they hold the dearest for the possibility of something amazing. Life is about living, not about safety. Living is in the risk. Risk is a gift.

Yet it's a gift, a gift from my children and my spouse. The experience could break us, or make us stronger. However if love can bring us this far together, I do not believe the poverty, or moving to Europe will divide us. So here it is, we all are running into the future. Blindly galloping, blinded by the light- our arms extended, not knowing what's before us. It's this running that makes me happy despite the risk, it's the hope that the destination contains reward.

In just over a month, I'll board a plane in Europe and I'll say goodbye to my spouse and two kids as I board an American Airlines plane for Belgium. I don't know what to expect, or what will come of it all. Will I love it, hate it? Will I cry constantly?

None of it seems real right now. It's all like the cover of a un-read book. I know what the story is about, where it takes place, and who is the main character, but Liv's Moving To Europe, like the Never Ending Story, has a plot which eludes the reader till they become a participant in it.

If you want to read it, stay tuned right here. If you have sackfuls of money laying around, email me.