I often feel as if I live in a bubble floating in between two realities. Perhaps most people living in a foreign country feel this way. I keep up in general with the news in Lithuania and in the United States, yet I don’t pay as much attention to the news as when I am living in the United States. Because I am not in the US, the details of American news often seem less urgent. And because I am not Lithuanian, the details of Lithuanian news often seem less urgent.
The financial crisis is a good example. I came to Lithuania in January 2009 — leaving just after the crisis hit fully in the US and arriving in Lithuania just as it hit fully here. I would hear news of the crisis from the US and several friends lost their jobs, but it seemed so removed from my daily life here in Lithuania. Yet, because I was temporarily living in Lithuania on a US student stipend, I was largely unaffected by the crisis in Lithuania.
It’s an odd feeling, living in this foreigner bubble. In some ways, it is rather freeing to not be consumed by the news and worries of everyone around me. At the same time, I don’t want to lose touch with the world — in Lithuania or in the United States. So I do make an effort to read the news in both countries on a somewhat regular basis. After all, the bubble could burst and I want to be prepared.