The Apartment called “Earth”.

I’ve been around.

Around the world.

Been traveling for the past 6 years of my life. Home now, but I know it’s just another stop on my journey. I thought I wanted to settle down, get comfortable, accumulate stuff — you know, all the usual. But as soon as I got home, I realized settling down might not be for me for a few more years, or maybe entire life. If I look back, analyze my life, I can say that traveling, exploring the world around, changing places, new cultures, new people has been a theme in my life since I was a kid.

Even when I was growing up and couldn’t move a lot, had to attend school etc., you know, the usual. I still moved around a lot — changed schools, I never attended a school near my house, changed schools 5 times living in the same city, attended different language, musical, art courses all over the city I grew up in. I thought I was looking for the best schools, best education, but maybe I was simply curious what’s out there. Even in one school I would change my “majors”, take more literature, or language, or science, or art, or music classes, depending on what I was interested in at the time. I loved hanging out with kids from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of interests, not really giving in completely to any subculture — a true explorer.

Then after I finished school I went (of course), to study to another city (Wanted a different country, but my parents were not too thrilled about it), entered university in Moscow that didn’t really work for me, commute took too much time, wasn’t that much flexibility, I decided to go back to Siberia, chose a different university, different major (computer science), different city and stayed there, cause I had more freedom over my course, didn’t have to spend any time commuting and the gym was in the same building with my university and 5 minute walk from the dorm.

After one year I went to US, on a work a travel program, stayed (of course) longer, than I was supposed to, 2 years — was quite a mind-opening experience for a Siberian girl in NYC, went back home, finished degree in 2 years instead of 5. Decided I didn’t want to work as a computer programmer after a day in an office (that was the end of my office career also), and went on pursuing different interests and getting certified as a personal trainer, nutritionist, image consultant, interior designer, English language teacher… Worked different jobs. Tried stuff. Lived.

And one day I decided I want to travel the world. Change my permanent address for a more exotic one. Ended up living in Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Brazil, Mexico and Peru. If it wasn’t for visa issues, I’d have much more countries on the list. Of course.

Now back home for a few weeks before heading back to explore the world.

On the Russian border a custom officer asked me, after I said I’d been exploring the world for the last 6 years: “Haven’t you seen enough? What took you so long to see the world?”

No.

I have not seen enough.

And I don’t believe I should be limited to one country (leave alone city) to call my home.

I am a citizen of the world. The whole world is my native land. I treat it accordingly.

I’ve been traveling around the world a lot, I lived as a local in many places, worked, studied there, and my experience made me believe, that the biggest issue we have as a world society, is treating our habitat — country, city, apartment — as separate entities from the rest of the world.

We all share the same “apartment”. It’s called Earth.

All the countries, cities are connected like rooms. And we don’t even have the doors or walls between them. It’s an open system. Why do we treat the situation like we are all separate? Like China has its own issues, USA has its own, Russia, African countries, middle East, Europe…

There is no such thing as national problem. It’s all world issues, that will bite us all in the arse one day. It doesn’t matter, if it’s an environmental issue, or political, or financial, or social.

We got to start living like roommates.

Have you ever had roommates? Like in college, or growing up with siblings, or as an adult sharing an apartment with friends, strangers or family?

Do you remember that you had to come up with rules everyone obeys in order for living situation to work? You couldn’t leave one part of the apartment completely messy and the other one clean, and expect that cockroaches, smells etc. will know the borders too, could you?

You wouldn’t expect to stay healthy, if your roommate was a chain smoker and didn’t care to go outside to smoke, would you?

Only there is no outside on this planet. We are all inside and got to come up with some rules to make the living situation work for everyone, otherwise we are all fucked. Every one of us. No matter citizenship. No matter religion. No matter political views or financial or social status.

Some people hope they can escape to a paradise location to avoid all the mess…or maybe another planet one day…

No.

All is connected, there is no escape, we got to deal with our shit all together, or we all end up in a big pile of crap, or the planet will get rid of us through some natural disaster or something.

You wouldn’t expect to have a healthy brain, if your heart was all messed up? Everything is connected in our body. There is no effective treatment, when we approach our bodies is an assembly of non-related parts, that don’t influence each other. We finally start realizing it’s kind of stupid.

When do we start realizing that planet health is the same?

Continents are not separate. Oceans and seas are not separate. Countries are not separate. Populations are not separate.

We got to stop taking stuff personally trying to prove that someone is right or wrong, or better or worse… We got to address the issues and find the best solutions possible, that benefit everyone on this planet. We have one home, when do we start treating it like one common home?

When do we allow people, ideas, technology to move freely? To explore different parts of the world? Different cultures? Choose places to live, and work, and get education based on personal preferences, interests and talents, best place for one to make contribution to the world’s prosperity? When do we start sharing openly everything not hiding technology, and know-hows, and knowledge, and experience, because we are too afraid someone will get more than we, and there will be nothing left for ourselves? When will we realize that for the fastest and healthiest progress we got to erase the borders between countries, between cities, between cultures, between people, between minds?

Not saying we got to make all the cultures the same, no.

We got to keep our identity, but get more awareness of others, of differences, of commonalities. We got to work on embracing emerging World Culture! We are all in it together. As different as we are — West, East, and everything in-between. As similar as we are.

Most people are so delusional about the rest of the world outside their confined environment — traveling the world and living in different cultures showed me that. It’s mind-blowing. And we all suffer because of that. We make others suffer because of that. Because here WE are and there THEY are. We all suffer a lot from that separateness culture. We could find solutions to most of our problems so much faster, if we get more cross-borders awareness of each other. We are like roommates, who say nothing to each other struggling with our “own” shit, when our neighbor has the perfect solution laying around ready to be used.

Remember the Martian? The movie? Chinese helping US? Them working together crafting a perfect (and only) working solution?

We can’t solve the puzzle of the world problems, until we get all the pieces. And those pieces are distributed between continents, countries, cultures, people, minds. Whether we like it or not.

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