That is probably their fault (and mine too)

Oh, the highs and the lows of working on international events, as if I could rant about them: no, not really. At least, they offer something close to a balance… Assuming the spectrum goes from one extreme to the next. So there it is again, and this one seems to hit a bit harder this time, and I might have figured out why. It sounds almost too simple. I went abroad. The projects went fine, with their expected, yet unplanned, last minute craziness before show time, the typical adrenaline rushes I love so much kicked in and thankfully I got to work with good people. That is where this whole going away thing turned much more unpredictable and entertaining than ever.

Because I am now ready to face it: yes, I love people, their stories, where they come from, what they do, why, how, when, etc., etc. All these differences make the journey so incredibly fascinating, trying, educating and worth spending time to learn more and better details, whether they be about that very project or “simply” life. My interest for others is not distracting because it blends into the daily work and life with and around them. The work environment morphs back and forth with and into the social life during such projects, being uprooted from what is usually my base. It may look like a summer camp from outside: the connections we make, the unique circumstances we experience as a group.

We built memories that radiate a bit less when referred to and shared with “others” at a later stage. The remote bubble we get to live in connects us to a point I had not suspected as clearly as now. The advantage I had on the past two projects was the language: speaking and articulating in my mother tongue with its witty plays on words (because I can), mastering the social and cultural codes without having to check or get validated in the middle of work meetings, all this was just flowing and refreshing. Then the people I got to surround myself with turned out to be smart, competent, challenging, supporting and genuinely fun to be around.

So, there: that is probably their fault. Or maybe it is also the typical post-event withdrawal. Or it is a mix of everything: the party is over, the lights of “reality” are switched back on, if not all, most of us have flown back to our respective legal addresses and gone back to whatever routine we had left behind a few months ago. Keeping on keeping on, because falling into some nostalgia will hold us back to something that used to be and we used to know, and that is now over. Moving on to the next thing with souvenir pictures and a few text messages here and there may be the best way out to the future. There will be reunions, and we will collect even more stamps in our passports: happy to be guilty of initiating those face-to-face catch-ups.

Our paths have crossed, and they may still do. If it is meant to be, the ones who affected us and/or we touched, will gravitate back, even from the other side of the world.