Click here to read the interview on Reynolds Sandbox, “showcasing innovative and engaging multimedia storytelling by students at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno”
“MediaTips: Emily Miller, an ‘Existential Migrant’
In our latest in a series on Media Tips, Dalyn Cooke catches up with Emily Miller, an American journalist living in Argentina who also works as a Spanish-English translator and blogs at Urban Expats.”
View at Medium.com
Click here to listen to the interview with Emily about life in Argentina and existential migration on Road Dust Podcast.
“Episode 6 – The existential and practical aspects of living abroad in Argentina – with Emily Miller
Emily is sharing her incredible life journey. Originally from Vermont, she lives in Argentina since 2008. We talk about many daily aspects of life in Buenos Aires, such as food, healthcare, education, music – as well as about existential topics, such as what makes people move across the world.”
Founder and CEO of Roomi
“As an “expat-preneur” who moved to the U.S. from India twelve years ago and founded three companies, I believe my own personal experience may shed some light on this question.
To begin with, immigrating to a new country means starting from scratch: learning an entirely new language, separating from loved ones, figuring out how to navigate an unfamiliar culture and re-establishing the basics, including shelter, employment, health insurance, and community.
And therein lies the secret: starting a new business carries many of the same challenges as uprooting your life and moving to a new country. Entrepreneurs need to learn the new “language” of business and finance, navigate the cultural nuances of commerce, industry, and effective networking, and separate themselves from the crowd in order to seek out new endeavors. In short, both experiences require peak levels of resourcefulness and a persevering spirit to power through non-stop challenges and new territories.”
I was recently in Marrakech and Istanbul, two cities where you can hear the Islamic call to worship.
In many countries, Adhan (in Arabic) or Ezan (in Turkish) is the call to prayer that is recited 5 times throughout each day in order to summon muslims for mandatory worship. This practice is intended to reach as many people as possible, which is why microphones and loudspeakers are utilized. The Muezzin is the person chosen for this task, based on his talent at reciting the Adhan beautifully, melodically and loudly. It is one of the most important duties in the mosque.
What are they saying? That there is no strength or power except from God. That there is no God but Allah. That Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
The first time I heard it I was in Marrakech. I just stopped and stood still and listened. It was a truly beautiful thing. After a week in Marrakech and a week in Istanbul I can honestly say that I never tired of hearing it. In Istanbul, it sounded like a beautiful song.
My favorite part? How the different Muezzins at the different mosques seemed to be speaking to each other. You would hear it coming from one mosque, then suddenly realize it was coming from another, then another, then back to the first mosque.
Experience it for yourself.
First of all, I want to explain the difference between being “bilingual” and “fluent”, in my opinion. “Fluency” is subjective and mainly refers to your ability to communicate well, even if you make mistakes or have a foreign accent. “Bilingual” means that you speak it as well as your native language. So, how long did it take me to get to the point where I speak Spanish as well as I speak English? Oh, about 20 years. Everyone is different, so I can only comment on my own process, but based on my own experience, here’s my formula for becoming bilingual:
Traveling can be expensive, especially in big cities, but I do have some advice on how you can save money and do it on the cheap.
GO WHEN THE WEATHER IS NICE, BUT NOT DURING PEAK SEASON
If the weather is nice, you can spend most of your visit outdoors (at the beach, in a park or gardens, along the river, etc.) which will save you lots of money, so try to plan your trip for a season with decent weather. However, make sure it’s not peak season as that’s when all the prices are jacked up.
Eat street food. Utilize local supermarkets. Cook. If the weather is nice, picnic in a park. The gardens at the Eiffel Tower is a popular destination for picnicking and drinking wine or beer while enjoying the power and mystique of the tower. If you really want the restaurant experience, go at lunch time during the work week when there are deals.
As a long-term expat, people always ask me “why?”: “why did you leave the United States?”, “why did you move to the Czech Republic?”, “why did you move to Argentina?”, “why do you study so many languages?”, “why don’t you want to return to the United States?”.
Now, on my 10th anniversary of being an expat, I feel very fortunate to finally be able to answer those questions. The answer is simple, yet complicated: I am an existential migrant, and always have been.