So, I travel a lot.
During last 5 years I’ve visited more than 10 countries, and I lived on 3 different continents. I was teaching in Asia for a while, then I was also part of Fulbright Exchange Program, and taught (and studied) at Lehigh University in the USA for a year.
Now I am about to start another “journey” which will last for at least 2 years.
And I never “announced” that news anywhere in social media, yet. Although I am very proud of myself, and sincerely willing to share a good news with my friends. Guess why I am still keeping silence?
Envy. Wait, wasn’t that one of those 7 deadly sins? Looks like that.
Every time I am living somewhere abroad, there are quite a lot of people texting me and saying: “WOW, how lucky you are!”, “I wish I were there, too”.
In such case, my first and only question is: so, why aren’t you here?
Why do people think that all those grants and scholarships just jump on us out of nowhere? I guess, people see what they want to see, without giving it much thought.
A numerous amount of times I found myself counting how many dollars (literally) I had left before my next payday while living in Asia, or how long would I be able to stay in that place before I find a better (a more well-paid) job.
With my US thing – who knew that I had a year of preparation before my actual year spent in the US? With endless interviews (in real life – in front of a dozen international people – and remotely), their decisions, international language exams taking, long waiting, and then (when they finally said they had selected me for the program) – every day filled with many deadlines, running with the documents, always scanning, signing, copying, sending something, applying for a visa, lots of travels back and forth to Moscow, anticipation again…
All this is supposed to be called a backstage, I guess. We do not post that stuff in the social media because no one is interested in that (or that is what I think). No one actually sees how much effort it costs to be a “lucky” one.
So, whenever I start explaining the whole process to people, saying that “yeah, you can apply, too, I believe in you! Here’s the link”, – they say “Oh no, thanks, that’s not for me – too long, or I am not that type of an active/brave/<whatever else> person”.
Well. How could anyone undervalue the efforts of every such scholar, or a traveler who applies for different things, or throws themselves to the other part of the world in the hope that might work, because we are “the tryers”, and we are ready to go through a long path to be the “lucky” ones?
Conclusion: try what you think will make you a little happier, or your life a little more exciting. And if you do not want to go through “all that”, or just have no idea what the others went through to be where they are now – do not jump into fast conclusions. Just ask us. We’ll be happy to help you be same “lucky” 😉