LA: It’s funny, when I’ve been thinking about finally getting to go home, whenever that will be, I’m already letting myself start to get carried away. I’m, “Oh well, when I’m back, that probably means that other stuff has opened up. So maybe I’ll just go to Paris for some of it. And then I’ll have a weekend here.” And I’m like, “Oh my God, I’m already doing it. I’m already starting to cram too much into one trip.”
MC: You’re already going to have too much to do in London, anyway.
LA: I know. I’ll be drunk most of the time I think, like the rest of the country.
KM: One big celebration. Life and humanity.
MC: Rachel, you mentioned that you have looked back maybe once or twice since you moved, and have thought about what life looks like in the U.S. After the past year specifically, how has your relationship with living abroad changed? And do you think you have thought more about moving back to the U.S. or less than you did before?
RC: I have thought much less about moving back to the U.S. than I had before, particularly after the last year in the United States and the handling of the virus, unfortunately. I’m really happy things are turning around, but I was in Germany, feeling very lucky to live here, especially where healthcare is free. And we don’t have to worry about some of the things that people have to worry about in the United States. I mean, I miss my family terribly—haven’t seen them in two years. That is a really tough part about living abroad. So as soon as I can travel again, that’ll be number one priority for sure. But I think last year was kind of, for everyone, a year that disappeared. Everything you wanted to do, nope, didn’t happen. So for me, they would put it in my second year living in Europe, so it was supposed to be filled with exploring new countries, new cities, new beaches, et cetera, and none of that happened. So I have to stay here longer. There’s no choice to go home because it would have been all for a waste.
MC: That is such a good attitude.
LA: Yeah. I love the attitude.
MC: I love that so much. Katalina, how about you?
KM: Yeah. I think similarly for some many reasons, but first seeing how the people of Nicaragua responded to the pandemic, was really inspiring, because they are one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere. But no one even thought twice about wearing a mask and protecting each other in all the businesses. The private businesses shut down within weeks and didn’t open back up until June. And it was really this feeling of we’re in this together and we’ve got to take care of each other. It gave me hope for humanity, being in that environment. And I think being back in the United States, in talking to my family and friends, especially owning a travel company, I would have probably been in a very darker place, mentally. And so I am very thankful for that.
And it’s such a good reminder that the U.S., who maybe is one of the richest countries in the world and has everything at its disposal, can still mess things up pretty horribly. And you can learn a lot from other countries and other citizens, and other people about taking care of each other, and taking care of your community, and the people around you, and the worlds around you. And I think I will forever be thankful that for the majority of the pandemic, I was in that environment.
MC: Obviously you guys have been zipping around your respective continents, and then also staying very much put over the past two, three years that you’ve been living abroad. If people want to follow what the next year, two years, three years looks like for you, where can they find you on social media?
RC: And I’m at @rachelecoleman on Instagram and all other channels.
MC: I’m @ohheytheremere.
LA: I’m @lalehannah.
MC: Be sure to follow Women Who Travel on Instagram, subscribe to our newsletter, and join our women-only Facebook group, which we have spoken praises of in this episode today. Thank you both for joining us and we’ll talk to everyone else next week.