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Readers' Experience

... Sometimes, I am better informed about things happening in my hometown than those living there...


"So true, what you have written (in Do We Change Abroad? article). I do check the local news every day to see what is happening back home. Sometimes, I am better informed about things happening in my hometown than those living there. The problem of reading too much news of a place without being there is that you see all the problems without seeing the solutions. Good news is no news.

The same holds true for news about Europe in Asia. No good news makes it to the top. There is nothing, but the Euro crisis and sinking Italian cruises that catch the attention of the media. I have tried to explain that it is not THAT bad. But it is hard for those on the other side to imagine how good it could be with all the news that they have “witnessed”.

The merit of living abroad is that you see things from both sides of the coins. There is an urge for you to convince those who see only one side of the coin that there is another perspective to look at the same thing.  With social media, it is very easy to do this. The risk is that you bore your friends at home. They may not be interested in different perspectives, not even in things happening around themselves. They would rather know what you have eaten for dinner.

Still these are your friends. They have chosen to live differently. You may have fewer things in common to talk with them over time. You may have the fear that you will not have any friends with common interests if you move back to where you are from. But why not worry about it until that moment comes. Chance is that you may never (be able to) go back to where you are from once you step out of your country, have a new job, settle down in a new place, meet new friends…One thing leads to another and the possibilities are unpredictable.

What helps?

Get to know new people. Eat out with friends. There are many nice restaurants in Brussels!"


Lam, 34, Education, from Hong Kong, living in Brussels

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