” Why don’t you write for Eindhoven News?” “What about?”
"Anything you like. Call it: ‘Another day in Carola’s life’."
So now I am sweating over my first little story.
Who am I? A chaotic time struggler with too many tasks to fulfill? A calm and wise person with a deep inner self confidence? A woman balancing between these two extremes? Let me introduce myself properly.
I am Carola Eijsenring, owner of Indigo World. I was born in Scheveningen (1954) from Eurasian parents. During my childhood, we frequently moved homes between Suriname and Holland, as well as many times within those countries. I made the first journey overseas in the belly of my Mum, from Paramaribo to Rijswijk, where we stayed in the house of my Nan and Auntie. For each trip, beds were pushed into small rooms and in the attic under the slant roof, wooden trunks were hidden in dark corners, and at mealtimes all of us ate around a large table.
From the start, my childhood was about how to survive in the turmoil of constantly changing homes, schools, friends, and not lose myself. Not sad, not bad, sometimes even great and gorgeous, this was the reality I got used to.
We were talking about this theme in one of the vibrant Group Talks of the Indigo World ‘Get in Touch’ program. This program is kindly offered by the TU/e to the spouses of their international knowledge workers. The program has weekly meetings in which we get these spouses in touch with people & places in Eindhoven. It is a good opportunity to build your first social network in your new hometown.
‘I don’t dislike the place, but sometimes I feel lost and confronted with the fact that I gave up my busy, fulfilling life for an empty and disorientated mood in an unfamiliar environment. Knowing that I am not the only one helps put it in a different perspective. Meeting new friends, getting to know interesting spots and finding support for practical issues gets me back on track again and makes my daily life meaningful once more’.
New exciting worlds of autonomy and independence also trigger mixed feelings and an irreversible change to your relationship with ‘back home’. Finding a new anchor in your life is one of the bigger challenges of living abroad.
Not sad, not bad, sometimes even great and gorgeous, but this is the reality they will become familiar with as well.