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Far From Home

1 year ago by

Far From Home

In a recent episode of Girls, Shoshanna (check out Zosia Mamet’s podcast here!) leaves behind her familiar streets of New York to take on a new job in technicolor Tokyo. And she’s thriving! She has a new home, a new hair color, new friends, and a new attitude.

The incredible part about the episode is that Shoshanna loses her job, and even in the face of more uncertainty decides to stay in Tokyo because she loves the life that she has built there.

Shoshanna’s bravery got us thinking about the impact a big move can take on a person’s life. Although scary, a new place can reveal so much about you and can steer your path in a completely different direction. Just take Garance and New York as an example!

Has a big, risky move ever done this for you? Furthermore, are there any places that you’ve always wanted to move to?

31 comments

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  • Well, there are different experiences, that’s for sure.

    I have moved around a little bit and once made a big move with some of the same ideas in mind. A fresh environment, a chance to do different things,…knowing that there would be more family obligations down the road.

    There were some other people who were overinvested in my making the move too — I noticed a bit of this, and yet pressed ahead.

    Biggest mistake of my life, without a doubt. It hurt me in so many ways — financially, career-wise, personal relationships and there were health and family issues too. If people are keen to have you do something and they are not forthcoming about why, the key question should always be “what’s really going on?”

  • Yep, been there, done that. :)
    I lived abroad in the time of no interrnet (at least it wasn’t accessible for communication widely). Some expensive phone calls and hand written letters home.
    I always knew I wanted to come back home and I did.

    A wonderful experience with its hardships. The funny thing is that the more you have to deal with everyday issues the better you get to know the country. And the more you realize that being on vacation in a foreign country is so much different from actually living there. :)

    The more open you are the easier it is, I think. And of course it depends on the country and your personal taste. I know there are people who go to a country that is in every sense very diffrent from their home country but they still find out that it is perfect for them.

    And… It all also comes down to luck. What fate brings you abroad… :)

    https://sofaundermapletree.wordpress.com

  • my dream is to live in Paris..

    xx
    http://www.cherry-mag.com

  • mosaic_world March, 18 2016, 7:12

    my dream is to return to Paris and eat as much bread (white) and cheese as I please (+ some coffee)
    … on my only trip there, it was a guided tour with all meals planned at restaurants. I feel like I missed out on major culinary experiences.

  • I absolutely identify. I decided to do a makeover in joining the Peace Corps. My parents didn’t have the means to travel or even to send me to university–I got a scholarship and worked full time, yet finished in three years. To make up for having had my nose to the grindstone (and thus not very interesting to employers), I signed up to live in Africa for two years with no electricity or running water. The closest phone was a full day’s travel to the city. Mail took two weeks to/from the U.S. It was hard work, but I actually wanted to stay. I loved it and have been back many times. Later, I moved to Europe, and have been in France for 12 years. I’ve been overseas for 20 years. I feel like Zelig, morphing into whatever setting I land in.

  • Parisienne depuis toujours, j’ai déménagé à New York il y a deux ans… Beaucoup de difficultés au début, de nouvelles qui se sont greffées depuis… Mais changer de vie permet souvent de se réinventer! J’ai su me créer ici des opportunités que je n’aurais jamais eues à Paris. Mon blog par exemple. C’est bon de se mettre en danger, parfois, de bouleverser ses habitudes et de se laisser surprendre par la vie!

  • I loved that episode, I love Shoshanna! And by extension I am very curious to learn more about Zosia Mamet.

    As for your question, where do I start?

    I left home at 17 and moved from France to Switzerland to study. I spent a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain and another one in Norwich, England.
    I got hired as a consultant by an international organization, they let me go in December, hired me again in January, I took a break to work in China for the Olympics, came back to Switzerland, same organization. Then I almost moved to The Netherlands, changed my mind, stayed in Switzerland and finally moved to The Netherlands 3 years later and stayed there for… 9 short months (I had met my now husband right before I left, the job wasn’t the right fit for me). Back to Switzerland, and off to the US. First Southern California and now Portland, OR.
    I now feel like home here, but, considering my history, I’m not gonna say I’ll stay here forever, though I feel like settling down and dream of owning a house/home.

    I can’t wait to see what lies in stock for Shosh!

    xxx

    – Chloe
    http://consciousbychloe.com

  • sandrine March, 14 2016, 8:05 / Reply

    J’adorerais déménager à Londres. J’habites à Montréal, mais cela fait 3 ans que j’y pense. Je sais que dès que je termine mes études je vais y aller. L’épisode était top!

  • At 18 i moved to Paris, spent 6 years there, went back home, and now i live in Tokyo, i may relate to Shoshana s experience

  • Right after college, I actually picked up and moved to Japan, just like Shoshanna! I lived there for four years before returning to the United States…but an entirely different part of the country than I’ve ever lived in. I’m hooked on seeing the world through living in it, and I’m going to be making a career of it!

  • NO SPOILER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • now this would have been a subject to relate to for neada.
    so here’s a question.
    why did she disappear from the blog without so much as a farewell-beep from gd/the studio/herself? she was introduced formally, and while i appreciate that things change, i do think it would have been fitting to give her a moment of goodbye as well.
    of course, this goes for every studio-member that us readers get to know (a bit) through the years. otherwise, what’s left of the personal tone of voice that made this blog such a success, will be lost alltogether.

  • Hi There!
    Neada has moved out to Los Angeles and may continue to contribute to the blog from out west, so we didn’t want to formally share good-byes, since it’s not the end of her story with the site! We will continue to share updates and stories from her in the coming months, and you’ll continue to be introduced to our newest members of the team!
    Thank you for your comment and your feedback–we really appreciate it!
    x Emily

  • babulle March, 16 2016, 5:19

    Neada me manque… Merci d’avoir posé la question ! C’est marrant, quand j’ai lu ce post, j’ai pensé qu’il aurait pu être écrit par elle. J’espère que nous pourrons continuer à suivre ses aventures. Je serais vraiment curieuse de connaître ce qu’est devenue sa résolution concernant sa garde-robe. Si tu me lis, Neada, merci beaucoup pour ton travail sur le site de Garance Doré !

  • Well that is a pain for me lately! I will be moving to France next year to follow my partner, i am completely terrified, although he has been very supportive! I am from Cyprus a small island in the Mediterranean, and i find it very difficult to leave my country. But i thought i would give it a try, home is always there to come back if something goes wrong, and good partners maybe not:) Anyway it will be a transitional year for me and i have been leaving in Cyprus the last 7 years and before in Barcelona 1 year and Athens 7. Life is strange but maybe it can be surprising!I guess i have to watch that episode! you are talking about:)

  • I loved this episode as I really identified with Shoshanna… I knew I just HAD to pick up my life in Seattle and move to Europe… ended up in the Czech Republic over three years ago and have not once looked back! I used to think daily life is boring, whereas now something new is thrown at me every day, whether language, cultural difference, or something I’ve never seen before. That’s just sorta the way I wanted to live life, as well as living somewhere much more international with the opportunity to speak foreign languages. I hope they show more of Shoshanna’s life in Tokyo :)

  • I have always wanted to spend some time in a foreign country . I have been living in France for 42 years ! A year ago , I moved to NYC with my son … So far so good , but even if you think you are over prepared for this , it will never be enough : every single thing becomes brand new , even the simpliest task takes you forever to accomplish : actually , it’s like being a new born again … But after a while , you feel so proud of yourself , a lot of people dream about it , few people actually do it . I encourage everybody to confront their dreams to reality , it can be overwhelming , great , bad but at least you will grow through this and really know if it s for you or not ! And you will experience what we call in France , Les moments de solitude … I had a lot since I arrived !

  • Je suis justement dans cette situation. Je suis française mais je vis depuis 6ans à Bruxelles et là j’ai envie de déménager en Italie…Tous les signes sont là en plus! Il faut juste que je règle la question du job…

  • I have moved a bunch of times, to Hawaii for about 9 years, then LA, New Orleans, and now Portland. It hasn’t always been easy being away from my friends and family but it has made me a more open minded and understanding person. I would love one day to try living in a foreign country like Japan!

  • i live in brasil and have moved from bahia to são paulo.. for you, it might seem like a small move, but as brasil is a huge coutry it seemed like moving to a completely different place, in another country, with a completely different reality, culture, end everything else.. and it didn’t only felt like this, it was for sure moving to a completely different place with a completely different reality. I was the same but everything around me was changed.. the way people behaved, the weather, the lifestyle.. i got new habits, new friends, new passions.. it was really like being in a different world. And it’s funny how you can still love your hometown, miss it, miss everybody that you have left behind, but at the same time, you don’t feel like moving back, because you really learn to live in the new reality and it, of course, changes you so much, that even if you don’t remark that, you know that something would be missing..

    Now, i’m completely used to são paulo.. i love salvador, i have a real love story with my city and think about it with tenderness, but i don’t feel anymore like living there.. my new plans are to move to paris, which would be a huge deal! My boyfriend is french and wants to go back to his place.. and me, i doubt sometimes, i fear the consequences, the adaptation (french people can be really scary sometimes! rsrs) but paris is paris and it will always seduce us in a way that you just can’t refuse it.. maybe i’ll have a new “moving” story soon.. :) gros bisou! ;)

  • Cécile March, 16 2016, 9:37

    Hi Aline,
    I’m a French student sutdying abroad in Rio right now. I’ve been to Salvador last month and it seemed like another world to me compare to Rio, so I supposed the difference is even more striking between Bahia and São Paulo. So I arrived in Rio in January, I did not speak even one word of portuguese so the first weeks were really difficult but I refused to give up. Brazil, or at least Rio, is indeed so different from Paris, and Bahia even more. I learned that the only thing you can do is to be patient, really, discover the city by yourself, and not being afraid to communicate. But still the weather and landscapes really helped when I felt homesick. So if you move to Paris one day I would like to ask you to give a chance to the French girls you will met there : it is true we can be really cold compare to the Brazilian people, even judgemental. But it is because it takes us time to trust a new person : but once we trust you, it is almost forever. The weather would be challenge for you I think : my mother is from Marseille in the south of France and it took her a while to get used to it. Best solution when she felt homesick too ? Go to see a movie, go to a museum, go to the Eiffel tower, walk by the river Seine by night. And also never forget that if you go there with your boyfriend, you will never be truly alone ;)

  • Chér Cécile :)

    Thank you for your kind words.. :) It is very good to hear from the other side of the story and you are even more related to all this since you moved from France to Brasil.. I can imagine how difficult it was for you and even more without speaking portuguese.. it surely must have been tiring sometimes.. but i’m happy that you never gave up and hope that you have yourself addapted right now..

    Indeed the difference between Salvador and São Paulo is even bigger than salvador and Rio, since Rio is a beach city and our habbits are a bit closer to theirs. But, you know, i think it is a matter of character too.. i never felt very connected to Rio, eventhough i think it is indeed the most beautiful city in Brasil and that life there can be really sweet, with the sea so close and the special atmosphere in thre air..

    I can tell you with honesty that i am not closed to the french people, darling, don’t worry.. :) it is only the cultural differences and the temper.. my boyfriend and i joke frequently about the “french temper”, because he is the one with the temperemental mood in this relationship, but he is very sweet and kind at the same time.. and even if we, brazilians and frenchs, are different, we have our similarities too and i think it is part of the grace of moving to a diferent place too, isn’t it? it makes us more tolerat and open-minded, i think..

    After such long message, I just wish you all the luck and fun you can have here and that you
    take back to France lots of good memories of that time you’ve been around here.. :)

    big kisses and good luck, darling!

  • I moved to Paris – followed my heart and a boy half way across the world – and it was terrifying. I couldn’t speak French and I had NO money, but I got myself two jobs, made some friends, threw myself into my jobs (nannying & making cold-press-juice) and while it was the hardest year of my life to date, and even though the relationship didn’t last (although it took coming back to Sydney for us to realise we were no longer suited) I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I learnt so much about myself, and so much about how to exist in the world with grace and flexibility. I became a person I really like, someone I am proud to be. I learnt that I am resilient, strong, and head strong … I am even going to do it again (I am such a hopeless romantic) but this time I’m headed for the states.

  • Isabelle, I think you just recounted the last 3 years of my life as well. Incredible to read briefly about your time spent in Paris, coming from Sydney and now heading to the States. That’s where I am now too! Hope all is well with you and wish you the best for wherever you may be!

  • Charlotte K March, 16 2016, 8:10 / Reply

    Shoshanna is the only admirable character left on Girls.I’m watching it just for her!

  • I want to see that episode!!

    I am French and in the last 10 years I have lived 1 year in England, 6 months in Austria, 2 years in Beijing, and 2 years and a half in Hamburg, Germany (where I am still living).
    I followed my ex-boyfriend to Beijing, he dumped me, I decided to stay anyway “only for myself!”, and what an adventure! I had never learned so much personally- and it is a big advantage on my CV. I can’t imagine going back to France now. I would be too bored. Once used to international environments, it is difficult to go back. Even if international environments do have many drawbacks too. (like saying goodbye to friends all the time!)

  • I’ve moved abroad a year and a half ago with my boyfriend and our dog :). We live in Berlin, Germany. We had to learn a new language or in my case relearn it, but we love it here. We come from Slovenia, a small Europen country, and moving to a city so culturaly diverse as Berlin really broadened our horizions. Being exposed to so many different cultures all living harmoniously in one city has really been life changing. I was always an opened and liberal person but this city opened me up even more.

    P. S. I think Shosanna is, while I agree being brave to move so far away, also running from herself, from the not so great life she had in New York, from dealing with her problems … she changed everything about her, and while I think changing appearances can be fun, changing personality usually means a person is running from something. And to me it looked like she finally went for it with her boss only so she could stay in Tokyo.

  • mosaic_world March, 18 2016, 7:21 / Reply

    I feel like I wouldn’t mind to live somewhere where the culture is a bit less capitalistic and oriented towards consumption. part of me wouldn’t mind to live in a rural area with high speed internet connection. or just a place where I could be easily 20 min. away from some place where you can hike and forget about the city and traffic.

    as an introvert, I find it intimidating to move to another country because I feel like those people who can fit in anywhere are generally extroverts (very outgoing people). however, I feel (perhaps this is just stereotypical thinking) maybe I could enjoy some place in England (London or other). I have this feeling that the culture could be a little more quiet and also I admire their intellectual humor (though this is mostly a reflection of entertainment media).

  • Béatrice March, 22 2016, 12:29 / Reply

    I’m half English/half French, 37yrs old, have lived in 7 different countries so far (UK, Switzerland, France, Spain, Australia, Italy, US), needless to say I have issues staying put… my whole family are like me! The way it works for me, is like this: year 1, a love/hate relationship with the new country; year 2, love love love; year 3, love but mmm, itchy feet; year 4, hate hate hate, leave!!

    Shoshanna’s experience rang so true – my company expatriated me to Seattle in 2012 and two years later, I lost my job because of global cuts… I tried to stay in the US but unfortunately, because my visa was tied to my job, I couldn’t get another job (I got job offers from great companies but their legal teams couldn’t make the visa situation work). This was really hard as it was the first time I was forced to leave, that it wasn’t my choice, plus it was year 2 so I was in the love love love phase!! I really feel for Shosh, she’s really young, not an easy thing to deal with.

    Now I’m back living in Spain (I love the Med) and trying to stay put as I really need to build something as it’s hard to think about settling down & having a family when you keep moving… it’s nearly year 3 so let’s see if I can do it!!

  • Paula Michelle March, 23 2016, 5:10 / Reply

    I totally changed my life when I moved in with my sweetheart a real farmer ,I say real because life on a working dairy farm is a 24/7 operation farming is not a job it’s a lifestyle and if you love a farmer it ends up being yours too! I’m almost 53 so I have already done the family thing in my previous life,I started a FB page called the Fun& frugal Fashionista Farm Wife and hope to perhaps become a content curator for an online magazine !????????????

  • I am originally from Poland, at age of 23 I dropped all I had and moved to Amsterdam, to work as an make up artist. It turned out, now at age 27, I am on a second year fashion student and I will be moving to NYC soon for my internship. take a chance and go with the flow, thats how you learn about your true self, you become independent and strong! The best experience ever!

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