An Expat for a Year

blogger, ukraine, usa, living abroad, expat, expat blog, wordly, alisa kaiser

My expat year is turning one! It is unreal that a year went by already... Here, I will make an attempt to look back on these 365 days, see what happened, and how my experience may be helpful to others like me. So here we go! 

In one year of being an expat in the USA I... 
1. Was jobless for the first time since I was 17 and it did not feel good. 

As someone who started doing summer jobs, big girl jobs, and internships since I started college - the first 6 months in the states were not healthy. Jobless Alisa is no fun: vulnerable, cranky, and small. To be fair: I did work online a little bit just to keep myself sane. Jobless Alisa also realized that working just a little bit (and not like a horse) is actually kind of nice. 
2. Was rejected by a bunch of people. 

Oh yes, rejection. After my long lost friend, aka, my work authorization came through - rejection arrived with it. I'm pretty tough - life's accomplishment. But man, those hurt! Especially when they (i.e. companies) invite you to three interviews and tell you how awesome you are non-stop and then you don't hear a word. You shoot them an email saying hey, you guys still deciding? That's cool... And you get a reply saying: unfortunately, we do not have any openings. WTF???
3. Learned how to drive and fear for my life. 

I always wanted to operate a vehicle. And I love it, I do, I just lack experience. If I ever drive you in my crapmobile, aka, Golden Girl: do not be distressed. I also found out where the outlet for all American anger is located and it is inside of their cars, where they can yell at you, and honk at you, and vent. Please, even if you yell to my face I still know that I am an unexperienced driver and only time can change that. Relax. 
4. Learned how to live with a boy. 

blogger, ukraine, usa, living abroad, expat, expat blog, wordly, alisa kaiser

Boys are gross. I am no better. One big happy family. 
5. Read and re-read tons of books. 

Ah, that was beautiful. Kinda miss that time of blissful nothingness... Scratch that, working is better. 
6. Found a job. 

And I love it. If you don't know, I manage a hostel downtown Nashville. I learn so much! Confrontation became my second name. You are 6 foot, rugby player, who just threw a cigarette butt next to the trash can? You bet your ass I am going to march over to you and confront you. I ain't afraid of no fugitives, bank robbers, drunk bachelors, and such. Seriously. 
7. Learned how to deal with homesickness in a healthy (ish) way. 

I'm not a kid any more but homesickness is this weird friend you get stuck with when you are an expat. My advice? Alone time. Yeah, yeah - all the magazines/articles will tell you to hang out with as many people as possible and that's true as well. But alone time is precious. Rewind. Recharge. Go on. 
8. Spend the best year of my life with the best man in the world. 

Ah, butterflies... 
9. Got a gift from the universe in a form of my best friend. 

Love you, Brittany! 
10. Found a voice. 

Thank you, my wonderful readers for sticking around, for giving me tips, for liking, commenting, for pats on the back, and high fives. You rock my world! 

Re-reading Alice in Wonderland

blogger, ukraine, usa, living abroad, expat, expat blog, wordly, alisa kaiser

I loved Alice growing up. Great story, vivid characters, colorful semantics... Her name was translated as Alisa into Ukrainian and Russian and my self-loving self enjoyed that greatly..#noshame

So it was only fair for me to get excited when I saw it in Barnes and Noble and carried it to the register. It was the time to review and revisit my childhood memories. I shouldn't have. 

The book itself, the collection of Lewis Caroll's stories is beautiful. Heavy, but beautiful. My eyesockets were pleased with the view. 

But let's jump in and talk about Alice. The childhood blissfulness of the made up world of hers faded away for me. Sure, there is a chance that my grown-up mind shrunk and is unable to preceve the wonderful worlds that jump from the pages. But on the other hand, have we met? No, don't think that's it.

Alice as a character is the most unrelatable, cocky, demanding, and annoying in the most hostile way a character can be. I'm being a little harsh.. But she is. No way around it. The wonderful string of exquisite and precise words of the great Caroll can not save the emptiness of Alice's character. 

My favorite character, the mad hatter, seemed small and irrelevant. Thinking about Johnny Depp while reading helped a lot. Despite my attempts to find a single character to relate to - I failed. I believe that the story is beautiful and unique but, unfortunately, not for a rusty grown up mind. 

All in all: I still love Alice and preserve my memory of the childhood bliss. I won't make a mistake of re-reading children's books any more... Or maybe I will. For the sake of the brain movements. 

On my nightstand: 'Bream Gives Me Hiccups' by Jesse Eisenberg

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