Moving to a new city as a writer can be very isolating.
In fact, moving to any foreign city is a struggle in and of itself—the language is cryptic, the culture is unfamiliar, your closest friends are an ocean away… You get it. But when you’re nestling into a new part of the world and your bread and butter is writing, a solitary process, it can be that much more difficult. Even as introvert, it can get lonely. That is, if you don’t have any source of joy outside of your work.
This struggle, though, is part of the beauty of travel. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. This sounds so cliché, but it’s true. Without your decade-old friendships and your family nearby, you’re forced to learn how to build a community and make new friends. These aren’t the friends you would necessarily make at home, the ones that come from a shared childhood or those that have blossomed out of convenience.
These friendships will come from your deliberate effort to find your people. When was the last time you did that? It’s not necessarily a practice we’re used to, especially if you live in the same city your whole life.
The best way I’m finding to do this is really just engaging myself in the activities that make me happiest. The key here is to do this in a social setting, where like-minded people are abound. So, for me, that means immersing myself in the yoga community—thank you Affordable Yoga Paris—and attending author’s lectures.
I’ve had the chance to meet such a wide variety of people at these events, people that hold my same values, which interestingly has made me hyper-aware that many of my friends back home do not—and that’s fine too. But it’s pretty exciting to connect with people who really get what you’re into, because they are too.
It can be so easy to get so wrapped up in work. I could spend every single minute of the next four months here in Paris on my laptop working away. I love writing, and I am such a novice when it comes to it that I could really use every minute to hone my craft, and research how to navigate this industry.
But honestly, stepping aside from the computer and taking in this gorgeous city and all it has to offer—including the beautiful yoga & literary communities I so love—is just as vital. And this is something I have to remind myself. Don’t get obsessed with being productive every minute because you will wear yourself out. It’s all about balance—thanks for the constant reminder Jordan Younger!
A few weeks ago I was spending every single day of the week writing for the various travel sites I do and it really did get to be too much. So today I took the day off to share these thoughts, wander the literary haven that is Shakespeare & Co., meet up with some new friends for a barre class in a new neighbourhood of Paris I was unfamiliar with until now, and spend some time re-connecting with old friends back home.
So, with that utterly drawn out run-on sentence, I’m signing off.
Mackenzie Belcastro; http://journeytoself2017.wordpress.com.
Writer at Journey To Self, where she explores the art of being authentically oneself and the path to getting there.