From Los Angeles to Czech Republic

I am from, what I call, “the biggest small town” in Southern California. By that I mean that it’s population is relatively large averaging at 210,800 but it’s cookie cutter neighborhood and family oriented suburban lifestyle sure felt like a small town. It’s a town where we did generally know everyone through a close friend’s neighbor, or sister’s cousin or even a highschool ex-boyfriend’s friend of a friend. This is a place where everyone’s family, house and car seemed like the perfect picture but the dark stories of someone’s drug addiction, scandalous church affairs and wacked out dance moms still existed in private and were gossiped about in hushed tones. This town is called Santa Clarita.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful to have grown up in this neighborhood. It was safe, had many parks and paseos to play on and had wonderful community programs and very good schools with many opportunities to get involved. However, even with all of this and Los Angeles in our backyard, a very sincere feeling of needing to get out occurred quite frequently in my heart and in my head. Maybe it was just to visit new places and explore or maybe it was a different kind of lifestyle I was seeking for myself. Either way I honored my heart’s desires and left the city at age 18 to begin my explorations.

I have travelled to many different states in the U.S. A. and was able to experience international travel by age 20. At which point I fell in love with Europe, but still never had any intention of moving here long term. As you may know by now, I met a Czech man and our relationship has changed my life forever.

I moved to to the Czech Republic at age 24 to be with my love and begin a new life over here. Everything I thought I knew about Czech and Czech people was quickly challenged after the move. Even though I really focused on keeping my mind open while embracing this new culture and my position in this new life, everything I experienced completely destroyed any preconceived notions in my mind that were left. But this was a great thing because truly living in Czech Republic with Czech people created new thoughts, new traditions and a new perspective in my mind that only true experiences could have given me.

In the short 9 months I have lived here, I have been surrounded by a forest living in a small village forced by nature and the beautiful people I live with to confront personal, unresolved issues from my past. I’ve had to become familiar with things like forgiveness, healing, letting go, truly loving myself and inner peace. These are just the lessons I’ve learned in dealing with people. But I’ve also seen the importance of nature, taking care of our earth and the value of food. More specifically what it means to grow it and to kill it. I’ve seen animals be born in the spring time and I’ve seen them die when they were sick. The crazy part is I haven’t even seen everything yet and as quickly as I have experienced all of these things I know there is so much more to come.

These experiences seem like something that every human should experience in their lives..and at one point we did. We, as humans, used to because we had to. However, sometime between the new technology, competition for jobs, politics and cookie cutter neighborhoods focused on “the perfect picture” we have forgotten what it means to truly live. To be present, to have peace and understand our role in nature. Maybe this is what my heart was longing for all those years ago in the suburb and this new life. I have a feeling that it was and this journey of living as an American Abroad is what I intend to share with you.