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31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World via Buzzfeed

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

via Buzzfeed

1. You learn how much unnecessary stuff you own when you attempt to pack it into a reasonable, movable state.

You learn how much unnecessary stuff you own when you attempt to pack it into a reasonable, movable state.

Rega Jha

2. And when you’re forced to get rid of some of it, you realize what is truly important to you.

*This process is particularly traumatizing if you’re a book lover.

3. You learn that somehow, every country in the world gathers to play football for a month, but we can’t all agree on one type of electrical plug.

You learn that somehow, every country in the world gathers to play football for a month, but we can't all agree on one type of electrical plug.

4. So your entire home is littered with adapters, which are your new life support system.

5. You realize that while you thought you possessed a general understanding of money, you actually only understand value in your currency.

You realize that while you thought you possessed a general understanding of money, you actually only understand value in your currency.

6. So, depending on where you’ve moved from and to, your constant conversions teach you how rich or poor you actually are.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

7. As much as you may have cursed and loathed it in the past, you learn that Google Maps is a godsend in an unfamiliar city.

As much as you may have cursed and loathed it in the past, you learn that Google Maps is a godsend in an unfamiliar city.

8. In fact, the internet in its entirety is a lifeline.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

9. You learn that absence makes the heart grow self-aware.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

It teaches you which of your relationships were most meaningful, and which ones were simply based on convenience and proximity.

10. To keep up the former kind, you get really, really good at constantly doing time-zone calculations.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
Warner Bros. / Via gurl.com

11. And you learn, quickly, that conventional sleep schedules are a luxury afforded by people whose loved ones all live in one time zone.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
Disney / Via mommyish.com

12. All the mundane things you take for granted about a place become the things you miss the most.

All the mundane things you take for granted about a place become the things you miss the most.

13. Even if you’ve never, ever realized it before, you’re suddenly aware 24/7 that you have an accent.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
The FX / Via theprospect.net

14. And a couple of months after moving, you learn that it’s subject to change.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
Showtime / Via wifflegif.com

15. The things that stay constant from place to place – even if you didn’t love them before – are now havens of comfort.

The things that stay constant from place to place – even if you didn't love them before – are now havens of comfort.

16. You learn that a house is not a home until it has Wi-Fi that automatically connects.

You learn that a house is not a home until it has Wi-Fi that automatically connects.

17. And a bed you look forward to sleeping in.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

18. You learn about the universe of free international calling/messaging apps that exist for vagabonds like you.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

19. And, very soon after, you learn their limitations.

And, very soon after, you learn their limitations.

XKCD / Via xkcd.com

20. You learn that the most important words to learn in any language are “I don’t know how to speak this language.”

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
NBC / Via gifrific.com

21. And, tied for a close second, are: who, what, when, where, and fuck you.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
HBO

22. You learn that your passport is as important to you as most of your loved ones.

You learn that your passport is as important to you as most of your loved ones.

23. You learn that forms that ask for a “permanent address” are evil, and didn’t account for people like you.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
NBC / Via bookriot.com

24. You learn that the most acceptable and innocent acts in one culture are punishably offensive in others.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
NBC / Via studentbeans.com

25. You learn that “where are you from?” is an incredibly difficult question.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
Miramax Films/Paramount Vantage

26. You soon memorize a short answer and a longer, more honest one.

27. And it takes a long, long time, but you eventually get pretty good at figuring out who wants which.

28. Most importantly, you learn that to drop everything and move somewhere new is as rewarding as it is terrifying.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

29. And you wouldn’t be half as brave, thoughtful, or self-aware if you hadn’t done it.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

30. You learn that “home” isn’t a place – it’s the people you come to love there.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World

31. And you learn that the world is a huge, thrilling adventure just waiting to happen.

31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
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Categories: Life Abroad | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A Night Owl’s Guide to the Calls to Prayer in Egypt

I live across the street from a mosque here in Egypt. Since I’m not muslim, I’ve learned to ignore the calls to prayer, but my daily schedule more or less coincides with them. Early morning – time to get up, midday – lunchtime, after sunset – bed time. But what if you’re not a teacher? What if you’re a belly dancer or a singer who works nights? Then what do the calls to prayer signal for you?

 

Midday Prayer = Time to wake up

Wake up you lazy bones! You can’t sleep the whole day away.

Continue reading

Categories: Egypt, Life Abroad | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Five Types of Global Minds You Meet Abroad via Internations

I came across this while perusing the internet this morning. It’s similar to my post about the different types of teachers you meet when living abroad, but a little more general. InterNations is an online international community that brings together like-minded expats.

Five Types of Global Minds You Meet Abroad

Five Types of Global Minds You Meet AbroadiStockphoto

Driven by curiosity and a lust for adventure, the explorer is keen to see more of the world.

Are you an explorer, keen to see the world? Or are you simply moving abroad because you’re sent there on an expat assignment? There are various different kinds of internationally minded people roaming the globe. InterNations introduces you to five common types of such global minds.

The Explorer

The explorer simply loves to travel the globe, to seek out foreign shores and explore the world. Displaying a keen interest in all that is new and unknown, the explorer is oftentimes particularly drawn to destinations which very much differ from home. Asia, for example, is thus a popular destination of choice for western explorers.

While abroad, the explorer actively seeks out to experience the local culture. Attempts to speak the local language are made, but not always successful. Explorers are like nomads, roaming the globe because there is so much to see, learn, and experience, with each trip or stay abroad an adventure to somewhere new.

However, there are some explorers with a particularly focused interest in one specific country or culture, then known as country-/culturephiles. Take for example the Anglophile. Self-made expats often fall into this sub-category, spurred on by their love for a destination to make the move abroad.

The Escapee

Contrary to the explorer, the escapee is less driven by a love for the unknown, and more by a desire to flee their home. Reasons for the escapee’s flight may vary, from simply boredom to trouble with an ex-wife or the law. The common theme, however, is typically the further away and the more exotic the destination, the better.

The expat retiree is a classic example for the escapee type. Finally able to enjoy the fruits of their life-long labors, most retirees seek out sunny shores to escape the wet and cold climates of their home countries. Florida and Thailand, for instance, are popular destinations for the pensioned escapee.

The Foreign Partner

The foreign partner is living abroad not because of a love or hate for one country, but simply because of love, period. Regardless of whether they have met the love of their life during an explorer’s adventure or simply at the supermarket checkout, the foreign partner finds themselves abroad because love knows no borders.

Depending on their general disposition and personality, moving abroad for love may be the happy fulfilment of a lifelong dream or have the potential of becoming a nightmare. Only the end of the honeymoon phase will tell.

The International Local

Not a foreign resident himself, the international local is nevertheless very much a global mind. They actively seek out travelers and foreigners, or are at least glad to be gotten in touch with and are thankful for opportunities to share their local expertise with strangers.

International locals are often returned explorers or repatriates themselves, hungering for familiar accents and opportunities to speak the language, keen on sharing experiences, news and stories about the former host-country, or simply hoping to get back this feeling of travelling and experiencing foreign cultures.

The Classic Expatriate

Sent abroad for a few years by their current employer, the classic expatriate typically takes this chance to further their career and ideally also get some expat benefits out of their stay abroad. Being sent abroad is, however, already where most similarities between classic expatriates end. Based on their individual characters and their behavior while living abroad, there are at least three very distinct subcategories of classic expatriates: the alien, the elitist, and the assimilator.

The alien sticks out in his host country and culture like a sore thumb, whether by choice (e.g. culturally insensitive behavior), or by circumstances (e.g. outward appearance). The elitist similarly does not integrate in the local culture, but spends most of his time, both at work and at home, with fellow expats. The assimilator, on the other hand, does their best to blend in by speaking the local language and adhering to local customs.

 

Of course, as is always the case with types and categories, these are very much a broad generalization. In real life, things are hardly ever as black and white. In fact, global minds can easily be identified or identify themselves with more than one of these types or a totally different type entirely. A keen explorer, for instance, may happily be sent abroad on a classic expat assignment.

Categories: Life Abroad | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Women Who Wear Hijabs Via Mic

7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Women Who Wear Hijabs – Mic.

By Laila Alawa via Identities.mic

7, lies, we, need, to, stop, telling, about, women, who, wear, hijabs,
7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Women Who Wear Hijabs
Image Credit: Getty

Imagine a Muslim woman and you’ll most likely picture a hijab, the head covering worn by some Muslim women across the globe.

The hijab is not the most important part of being a Muslim woman, but it is certainly the most visible. In a time when Islamophobia only seems to be on the rise in the West, a practice that is so personal and diverse has become a warped and misunderstood part of a flat and monolithic picture of Muslim women.

As Islam becomes more and more wrapped up in public debates about foreign policy, integration and immigration, the hijab has quickly become shorthand for a set of stereotypes that neither represent nor capture the experience of being a Muslim woman today.

And those lazy stereotypes — of Muslim women having a uniform experience in hijab — help box headscarf-wearing Muslim women in boxes that remain rampant and unchecked. Despite countless Muslim women sharing their diverse experiences in public spaces and platforms — it’s a religious tradition that remains largely misunderstood.

The following are seven lies about headscarf wearing Muslim women, sometimes known as hijabis, that we need to stop telling:

1. All hijab-wearing women are religiously conservative.

Via: Flickr

It’s a common misconception: You’re wearing a headscarf, so you must must be religiously conservative. The stereotype extends to the reactions some strangers are inclined to blurt out upon seeing hijab-wearing women in places they obviously “shouldn’t” be, like politically conservative gatherings. More than simply being erroneous, however, the belief that one can pinpoint the degree of religiosity a Muslim woman possesses by looking at what is upon her head is degrading, invasive and pretentious.

Besides, when it comes to statistics, there is no legitimate way of pinpointing the exact belief system a hijabi attaches to. Ultimately, the only facts to be gathered from a woman’s headscarf is how well it matches to her outfit of the day. A woman’s headscarf — the size of the fabric, the way it’ styled — is so culturally unique and attuned to personal beliefs that its presence (or lack thereof) is in no way predictive of religious attachment.

2. All hijab-wearing women are quiet and traditional.

Have you heard of the Malaysian singer, songwriter and businesswoman Yuna? What about community builder and peacekeeper Ameena Matthews, former adviser to the president on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Dalia Mogahed, British journalist and political activist Yvonne Ridley or award-winning poet, columnist and social activist Ainee Fatima?

These women all have one thing in common — they wear hijabs, and they aren’t afraid to challenge what popular media stereotypes say about how they should act. Acting contrary to such stereotypes should not be the exception, and it begs the question: Why do we keep on enforcing such rules with false portrayals of how we think hijab-wearing Muslim women are?

Of course some Muslim women wear the headscarf are also quiet and shy — but they are not shy because of the covering, there is no causal link here.

3. The choice to wear a hijab is the man’s decision.

Via: Flickr

While the hijab has been popularly construed in media as a tool of religious oppression, the choice to wear (or not to wear) such a covering is religiously rooted in the hands of the woman in question. Although there is a prevalent mantra among many Muslim communities that “Hijab is beautiful, hijab is what God wants,hijab is a Muslim woman’s duty,” as Fatemeh Fakhraie puts it, ultimately, it is a fundamental decision rooted in the beliefs and aspirations of the person.

In short, the decision to wear a hijab has never been and will never be a man’s decision, and the shaming and guilting both within and outside of the Muslim community serves only to lose sight of the true power of a woman’s choice. Regardless of your belief system, Muslim women have control of the decision to veil.

4. The hijab prevents Muslim women from participating in sports.

Via: Getty

Muslim women who cover — as well as those who don’t — have been participating in sports for many years. However, their participation was hindered for some time by sports organization bans on the use of headscarves. Indeed, it wasn’t until 2012 that international soccer governing body FIFA decided to lift its ban on headscarves. The decision followed five years of ban enforcement, a period of time in which covered Muslim women boycotted their sports events or were forced to drop out. Another major sports organization, the International Olympic Committe officials, acquiesced to demands by headscarf-wearing competitors to be allowed to participate during the 2012 Olympics.

“This agreement shows that being a modest Muslim woman is no barrier to taking part in sport. It shows the inclusiveness of the Olympic spirit,” Razan Baker, spokeswoman for the Saudi Olympic Committee, said at the time.

Other hijabis were once prevented from opportunities to work out and stay fit at recreational clubs and fitness centers by a lack of women-only environments. In recent years, this has begun to shift, with many gyms beginning to listen to both headscarf-wearing patrons and those without, setting aside days and spaces in which a single-gender environment is possible.

5. Women who wear hijabs can’t be stylish.

It’s time this misconception vanishes like the last-season outfit it really is. The opposite of unstylish, the Muslim fashion industry is currently valued at $96 billion internationally, and mainstream fashion designers have even begun catering their style lines to the newly coined “hijab couture.” Milan Fashion Week was one of the first major events in the industry to wise up to the massive market potential within the hijabi fashion industry.

Hijab couture has also reached America, as evidenced by the flowing long skirts, palazzo pants and turbans in style this year. The trend has been magnified by a new crop of Instagram and YouTube hijabi fashion bloggers who erupted onto the blogger scene in 2007. Recognizable and fashion-forward thinking, they push the limits on the hijab couture and modest fashion industries.

Nowadays, these women are seen as global influencers, summoned by fashion companies to act as representatives, ambassadors and promoters for different brands.

6. Women who wear hijabs can’t be feminists.

Via: Flickr

It’s a popular misconception that women wearing hijab cannot possibly espouse beliefs of feminism. This misconception springs in part from the way media portrayals of hijab are interwoven so firmly with characteristics like oppression and domination.

But these stereotypes have been repeatedly repudiated by the statements of Muslim feminists themselves, who have repeatedly attempted to explain how choosing to cover does not silence their voices.

While misguided activists like FEMEN continue to try to “save” Muslim women who cover, their action serve mostly to anger millions of Muslim women around the world while squandering what could have been an opportunity to discuss the realities of the phenomenon. Along those same lines, some mainstream feminists have allegedly attempted to dissuade Muslim women who cover from associating with the movement. But while these types of sentiments make it harder for Muslim feminists to make their voices heard, hijabi feminists are here to stay.

7. Women who wear hijabs are voiceless.

Via: Flickr

This is likely my favorite stereotype. Hijabis hear it again and again: “Where are your voices? Why are you not speaking up? Stand up and say something, you seem oppressed.” Women who cover are one of the most visible of Muslim communities, and therefore some of the most commonly attacked during Islamophobic hate crimes.

Despite being only a slice of a religion with 1.7 billion followers, hijabis have nonetheless been fetishized and exoticized repeatedly by pop stars and musicians, while simultaenously being held up as a symbolic representation of the Islamic religion’s alleged oppression.

But despite these stereotpyes, hijabis have been and will continue to be a  vibrant community of women, who defy stereotypes by example, who succeed as Olympic competitorsscientific innovators and medical prodigies, who are just as likely to have a college degree as anyone else in America, and who are asdiverse a community as the multi-colored fabrics they so proudly dsiplay on their heads. 

Hijabis remain, time and again, the topic of popular discussion, dissertation and thought, yet consistently are told to sit down and shut up when they attempt to enter conversations about them. While that might have worked before, it won’’t work much anymore: Muslim women who cover are not willing to remain silent any longer, entering mainstream media, culture, and production industries as individual forces to be reckoned with. Want an example? You just finished reading an article written by a hijabi. It’’s no longer possible to ignore voices that are speaking up in great numbers, and it’s time we start realizing this as a community and culture.  
Categories: Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

68 Thoughts Every Traveler Has On Their Trip Around The World Via Buzzfeed

1. I can’t wait to travel the world.
2. God, I’m nervous. Planning a trip is so confusing.
3. Am I making a huge mistake? Everyone is telling me I’m making a huge mistake.
4. No way! Screw them! This is going to be awesome.
5. I’m going to make a ton of friends and do cool stuff like the Dos Equis guy.
6. What the hell am I going to pack? Did I buy the right backpack? Do I have enough money?
7. Oh well, I’ll figure it out. 
8. Time to go. See you later, suckers!
9. Ok, landed. Now how do I get to the hostel? 
10. Does anyone speak English?
11. I’m already confused. This is tough. 
12.Okay, I made it to the hostel.
13. I’m a travel superhero. This stuff is going to be easy.
14. This dorm room looks nice. I hope no one snores.

Matthew Kepnes / BuzzFeed

15. Time to explore this place!
16. I’m totally lost. 
17. Oh, look I found my way. 
18. I can totally do this backpacking thing. 
19. Happy hour! Time to meet people. 
20. Uhhh what do I say? 
21. Guess I’ll see what’s happening on Facebook.
22. Crap! That creepy guy in the corner snores. I’m never going to sleep.
23. Okay, it’s a new day. Things are going to be great. 
24. Ohh, there is a BBQ at the hostel tonight. Maybe I’ll make friends there.
25. This table looks nice. Will these people let me sit down?
26. They invited me to sit down. I have friends!

Matthew Kepnes / BuzzFeed

27. Wow, I’m really hungover. What a night! 
28. Another happy hour! 
29. Shots for everyone! 
30. Ohh, a cute Aussie is talking to me. 
31. What happened last night? Yikes! That Aussie is not as cute as I remember. Time to sneak out of this dorm. 
32. All my new friends are leaving. That’s okay. I’ll see them again.
33. Probably not. At least there is Facebook.
34. Made new friends. 
35. I have no idea what these Scots are saying to me. I’m pretty sure we both speak English. I’m just going to nod my head and drink my beer. 
36. What is this food? I’m probably going to go hungry on this trip. Everything looks so weird. 
37. Guess I’ll get pasta. You can’t go wrong with pasta.

Matthew Kepnes / BuzzFeed

38. Well, I got sick. I guess you can go wrong with pasta! 
39. Woohoo! Another country. Look at all these passport stamps! I feel cool.
40. I’m spending way too much money on beer.
41. Time for another happy hour. 
42. I love travel! I’m totally a travel expert now. 
43. These conversations are getting a bit repetitive though. 
44. Oh look, new people in the dorm! I wonder where all these people are from and how long they’ve been on the road. Let’s ask them! 
45. Interesting food. I’m going to eat that. I can’t believe I was so worried when I started traveling. 
46. This guy in my hostel is kind of a jerk. No one cares how many countries you’ve been to. 
47. Still spending too much money. I hope I’m going to make it to the end. 
48. Okay, time to start saving.

Matthew Kepnes / BuzzFeed

49. That bus is five dollars? I’ll walk instead.
50. That was a long walk. At least I saved some money.
51. Happy hour! Five dollar beers? I’ll have three. 
52. Waterfall! Woohoo! 
53. Another waterfall? This is getting boring. 
54. More weird food. Who would have thought bugs would be so good? 
55. Two dollar soup? That’s a bit expensive. 
56. Two dollar beer? Perfect. 
57. Well, that was an eventful day. Time to move on.
58. Two more months to go. Time to make the most of this trip. 
59. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed and see my dog! 
60. It’s going to be weird to go home.
61. More drinks? I’m so sick of drinking. Is that all this is about? 
62. Those people look cool. I’ll go drink with them. 
63. Last week. This trip changed my life. I wonder what home is like. I bet it’s really different. I’m so glad I did this. I changed a lot. 
64. My friends just threw me a huge going home party. I love them.
65. Gosh, I’m hungover. Time to go to the airport. 
66. I’m home! It’s so good to see my friends and family again.
67. Wow, nothing has really changed. 
68. I’m bored. Next trip?

Matthew Kepnes / BuzzFeed

Matthew Kepnes is author of the book “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day”and runs the website NomadicMatt.com. Matt teaches people the travel tips, tricks, and advice not found in major travel media so you can travel cheaper, better, and longer to any destination in the world!

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