Indre Urbonaite is the new PR Manager of the Expatriate Archive Centre. Here, she gives readers some insight into her professional and personal background.
In 2011, in late summer, after finishing my Master’s studies in Lithuania, my home country, I got a promotion at the place I was already working at.
I told my boss, “I need to think about it”, which he thought was about the salary. After a few days, I told him I was quitting because I had decided to move abroad for half a year to see the world”. My “half-a-year journey” continues up to today, 10th October 2022.
During those unusually long “six months”, I lived in two countries (The Netherlands and Portugal), finished my second Bachelor (in Visual Arts), started my career as an artist, changed eight apartments, gained new friends, lost some as well, adopted a dog, tried to learn new languages, discovered new cuisines, started celebrating National Holidays on the days that meant nothing before, began to complain about the weather more often, tried to adapt, failed to adapt, felt at home abroad and like a tourist when visiting my home country.
I often ask myself how these achievements, attempts, failures and changes in a foreign country influence me personally and the society I’m currently living at. Is it only me who is going through all these transformative steps? To what extent, or if at all, do my presence and changes affect the other culture? While searching for correct answers, I try to look at this whole process as a synergic exchange, which enriches both sides on macro and micro levels.
It’s 8:15AM, 10th October, 2022. I’m sipping “koffie-verkeerd”, eating “pastel-de-nata” and reading Lithuanian news.