Expat Reflections – Give a Gift to Yourself

[Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1YNIXOA]

I never really thought that writing about my life had a place on this blog, until this morning. In fact, I had one of the most powerful dreams I’ve had in months and this spurred me to write. Whether it has a place here or not is for you to decide. Nonetheless, my reasoning is that my blog is a part of me and though I write mostly about museums and cultural experiences, I could very easily write about my life abroad too. So, yes, this could be a good place for it.

[Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1XJkGL0]
[Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1XJkGL0]
Today I dreamt of going to yoga class. The class was full with people and I waited outside as another group finished their lesson. People moved blankets, bolsters and beanbags around and then departed the room. When most had left, our group entered and set up. Whilst this occurred, a woman came around to give each person a beautifully wrapped gift.

[Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1Tnkotn][Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1Tnkotn]

This was quite unexpected and myself and another yoga student unwrapped our boxes. Inside the shiny, Christmassy wrapping was a special kind of camera. Something I’ve never seen before – a kind of new technology – a flat camera with a funky blue metallic covering. But upon closer observation, the other yoga student made it known that this was actually a second hand camera but one that is also easily transportable, one that has a massive memory and is particularly unique. I placed the palm of my hand on the shiny yet scratched facade. The fact that this was a used gift didn’t deter me. I was happy to have something of value for my work as a writer and creative person – happy to embrace the outside flaws of this used object and explore its inner workings.

And that was that. The end of the dream. I woke up thinking, ‘But I have a wonderful camera already?’ Why dream such a dream? However, upon closer examination, I came to realise that the camera is a metaphor, a metaphor for savouring the moment in life and for making memories. It is a metaphor for enjoyment, for happiness and also a time for reflection too.

It is up to you to decide whether the gift is the yoga class (that I give my body regularly) or the gift given to me in the form of a scratched yet highly advanced camera. Both are useful and pertinent to my lifestyle as a creative and spiritual person. But I believe that the gift is something a lot more deeper and profound; a kind of reflection about our lives which is often forgotten when we live abroad. The dream serves as a careful reminder to myself and to other internationals living abroad: Never forget who you are, never forget reflecting on your life and on the gifts you have been given. In turn, use those gifts wisely and then when you’re ready give those gifts on to the next person who may be struggling in their new environment.


Elizabeth Joss

Elizabeth Joss is the founder and main writer at The Museum Times. She works as a university lecturer by day and is an avid travel blogger and arts and culture enthusiast by night. Elizabeth started The Museum Times out of the need to give smaller, lesser-known museums more exposure.

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