Living Abroad — Effects for Writers

I have been living abroad, in Glasgow, Scotland, for three months and have three more to go before I return to Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to take the picture below on Robert Burns Day from Georges Square, not far from where my flat is.

10929908_10202364296668697_8894003860628090647_nAnd yes, people do make Glasgow. Living here has been a challenge and a joy for me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity. A recent article in The Atlantic, For a More Creative Brain, Travel: How international experiences can open the mind to new ways of thinking has pulled me back to The Lyon Review. That article got me thinking a lot about how living abroad has affected me and I blogged about it at PamWritesSense of Connection & Living Abroad. We get comments from MHC alumnae near and far and I got to wondering, how many of our alums have had the opportunity to live abroad for some period of time? Abroad meaning anywhere far from home, landing in a culture unlike your home culture.

If that’s you, what did you learn in your time abroad?

Can you see effects in your writing? In other creative areas? In your life now?

Do you have any writing to submit to The Lyon Review that was inspired by or during your time abroad?? If you do, please visit the submission page here.

2 thoughts on “Living Abroad — Effects for Writers

  1. Hi, Pam! Great photo and wonderful opportunity. Have I ever lived abroad? No. (Sigh…) At MHC, I had the opportunity to do a summer program at Oxford. Unfortunately, while I had the opportunity, I didn’t have the means. Looking back, I wish I had just maxed out my credit card and gone, but others would say that I make the prudent choice.

    Years later, after working some and traveling the US some, I found myself very much alone. A relationship had ended painfully and I had even more painfully lost my faithful canine companion much too early. I was ready to jump ship and move to Paris for an undetermined amount of time. Then…I met the man who would become my husband, and Paris took a back seat to love and romance. At this stage of my life, knowing what I know now, I should have told him I’d see him in six months and gone to Paris.

    All that said, I *have* lived in another culture. In the early 90s, I moved from Massachusetts to New Orleans, and have remained here ever since. I think it has obviously had an affect on my writing because I’ve literally grown up here. I’ve gone from my rather innocent 20s to well into my cynical 40s. It’s a infinitely creative culture in countless ways. I still want to go to Paris, but until I get there, at least I’m in New Orleans!

    Pam, can you tell us how you got the opportunity you are living out? I would love to find a way to put myself abroad for a period of time! Maybe not now, with a newly minted teenager in middle school, but sooner rather than later!

    • Well Dee, truth be told, I am here because of my husband. He is on sabbatical from Marquette University and I am taking advantage of the time to explore as much as I can. Our children are grown and I have the luxury of being able to treat Glasgow as not just home, but home base. I am just back from a week in Italy and a week in Israel! I know, I really do know, that I am quite spoiled, fortunate and blessed. Keep your dream alive and I believe you will find a way to make it happen. Don’t surrender the possibility.

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