There were lots of familiar faces at the Butterfly Europe event this afternoon.
When you are an EU geek -by that I mean a person who is both active in EU affairs and in social media- you tend to attend any single event that talks about both. And as social media is the “it” subject in the EU bubble at the moment, there have been many of these events in Brussels in the past months. So when you are an EU geek, you tend to always see the same people around, be it online or offline. As Antonia and a few of us EU geeks put it today on Twitter, at the Butterfly Europe event, the usual suspects were attending and some of them were speakers too. We are indeed a bubble inside the bubble. No surprise there: the EU bubble is already small enough that the group of people in this bubble who are also passionate about social media is inevitably smaller.
Amongst the EU geeks usual suspects who attended Butterfly Europe, there was a shared impression that the discussions turned around in circles, and that somehow, any event we go to talks about the same things amongst the same people. Being of optimistic nature, I look at things in a different way.
First, if we get the impression that nothing new is said in the social media events we go to, well that’s actually a good sign for us on a personal level. It means we know our stuff! As early adopters of social media in the EU bubble, we are and always will be ahead of others who are only starting to develop an interest in it.
Then, of course the usual suspects were there. We know each other, appreciate each other and naturally gather and chat when we are at these kind of events. Here comes the bubble effect… but gladly, there were also plenty of new people at this event, let their tweeting commence!Tags: EU Bubble, EU Geeks
Most people in their late twenties experiment what I would call a “mid mid life crisis”. They studied for ever, finally got the first real job that matter, then get bored and feel they need a change. While most people in this situation would react by changing job or having a baby or even starting a new hobby, the kind of people that I am – people that have lived abroad, just think: “I need to move to another country”. As if changing country would solve anything.
A childhood friend of mine, who lived in New York for years and came back to Paris a year ago, recently confessed that she found it nearly impossible to make holes in her walls to hang posters, paintings or pictures. She just cannot do it. I went to her place last weekend. The walls were totally blank, and frames were displayed on the floor, waiting to be hung. It made me realise that although I have lived in the same apartment for 4 years, I still haven’t made any hole in the walls either. Like my friend’s, my walls are blank. Actually, looking back at the 4 places I lived since I left my parents’ place, I realised I never made holes in the walls at any of these places. I never paid much attention to the decoration either. As if all those places where just temporary.
But when does temporary stop being temporary? Are we, the expat generation, doomed to moving from one country to another until we find our dream land? And if we don’t, will we be frustrated our whole life long, always keeping in the back of our mind that life could be better in another country?
Always ready to pack and head to another exotic destination, I think that’s how many young expats in Brussels feel. People come and go. Every year, some decide to go back to their home country while some decide to start all over again in another foreign country. And others stay. I remember a former Dutch colleague of mine, a man in his early forties, telling me he had always considered Brussels as a temporary location. Until one day he realised he had been there for 15 years, and that it might mean that Brussels was actually not temporary anymore. Yet I could sense that the fact he had been living in Brussels for 15 years, did not convince him that Brussels had become his permanent residence. As if he couldn’t accept to be tied forever to one location only.Tags: Being 30, Brussels, Erasmus, EU Bubble, Expats, Friends, Travel