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I moved to France, and it was too much

Our bodies date from a long time ago while our world is rapidly rolling into the future.


It's been a while. My last piece was about Melbourne, a place I used to call home in what seems a lifetime ago.


Since then I've been doing lots. I trained to become a divemaster in the Philippines and Malaysia, I spent some time in Singapore, I visited friends in Germany, I spent nine days in the Netherlands and I recently moved to France.


A friend called me a "globalisation child". A child of this world. Moving between countries is like a trip to a mall. It doesn't require much anymore.


And it comes easy, especially with my privilege in the form of a dark red Dutch passport. A bit of research, effort and time leads you to heaps of study and volunteering grants and with a bit of willpower it turns out everything is possible.


So after a year and a half in Malta, I made my way to Australia, New Zealand, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, then back to Europe - Germany, the Netherlands, and now living in France.


It's all been great. But I hate Lyon.



This world is developing and progressing so fast. Opportunities are everywhere, you just have to open your eyes. I can go wherever I want at any given time, even on my student budget.


But apparently, my human side can't handle it all. While change has been great for two years, I just crashed. Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's possible.


I live on a planet where humans rule nature, where we live through screens, and where hunting for food is replaced by ordering fully prepared meals to your doorstep. It's a world where you can have your dead pet cloned, where payments are made with digital numbers instead of gold, and where laws of nature are defeated.


We can do almost anything. We can go almost everywhere. Every place is as far as the other - just a flight away. I have empirical proof.


Hopping over the globe is relatively smooth, and compared to any other time in history even miraculous. A post-high school strip used to be in Belgium, then in Portugal, now in Thailand.


A flight to Casablanca costs as much as a weekly grocery bill. The untouched jungle of Suriname is just an arm's length away and we can reach the other side of the world in less than a day.


Travelling within Europe is for me what taking a train within the country used to be for my mum. With open borders, studying, working, and living is as easy in any EU country as it is at "home".


And flights are just getting cheaper, faster, and more frequent. When my friends from Malta and I joked about flying to Sicily to buy tomatoes, we weren't joking that much.


In the meantime, humans are evolving a bit more slowly. Whereas our bodies and mind still have roots in a time where we hunted for food and lived in groups, our physical environments consist of hyper-tech cities and online shopping.


Our brains still get happy chemicals from exercise, from being around people, and from taking our time. Yet our lives have changed drastically, from living in tall buildings where we barely know our neighbours to taking weekend trips to other continents.


I once wrote that life is just a psychological experiment with yourself. I like to use mine as optimal as I can. And I figured, no matter how much I love every single thing that I do, it has become too much.


With all these possibilities and opportunities and intriguing adventures, it's easy to forget that globalisation in the world doesn't mean globalisation in our bodies. While I can book flights every other week, I can't wrap my head around changing countries, changing cultures, changing language, and changing surroundings that often.


While opportunities are still out there, and planes still fly, my prehistoric body is telling me to slow the fuck down. And there's a core of truth in that.

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