Tuesday, 31 May 2011

new country syndrome

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I'm feeling a bit down the last couple of days. Albert flew back to Germany, from where he has diagnosed me with "new country syndrome." Even though I'm not completely new here, I'd say that's accurate. The first few days anywhere (alone) are so disorienting and lonely. And boring. I need to force some structure on my days. I'm in Barcelona to do research for my dissertation for a month. The problem with research is the self-motivation, or, even more than that, knowing what to do in the first place.

Anyway, I still have a few pictures from London: these are from last Sunday, when Raquel and I went to the Battersea Car Boot sale. We scored several bargains for a pound or two each. My favourite was this green cardigan, which was a very happy purchase, as it was frickin' cold and windy that day! I never have enough cardigans, and most of the ones I do don't keep me warm, so this pure wool number in a neutral colour is perfect.

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This necklace was my second piece from Les Jumelles, (I wear the first one all the time) and I'm not best impressed with this one. It originally had a charm of the ruby slippers attached, but they were banging relentlessly against the locket so I took them off. Seriously, if you're jewellery makers you should think of these sorts of things. In general it's kind of cheap and crappy, but I'm wearing it a bit more now that it's summer.

skirt: Spank (Vancouver boutique), shirt: Paul and Joe Sister (free with a magazine!) cardigan: Car Boot Sale, scarf: charity shop, necklace: Less Jumelles, shoes: ebay, bag: via mom

49 comments:

Romi and Bob said...

I think you are very courageous to be alone in a foreign country. I hope you feel a bit less lonely soon. I love your outfit and necklace. Good luck with your dissertation and have fun. x

Georgia Rose said...

I've gotta say, although I have no doubt that all this travel is very stressful and scary, I do envy you! I wish I travelled to enough new countries to develop a syndrome too!

Good luck with your dissertation too. We believe in you! x

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

Love your necklace!
Don't feel down about being in Barcelona! It's amazing there! Just explore the city :)

Cat said...

I lived in Strasbourg on my own for a year and I remember how lonely those first few weeks felt, so disorientating being away from everything that's familiar. Just focus on what needs to be done and the time will fly by - and by the end of it I guarantee you won't want to leave! And Barcelona is such an incredible city! Would love it, if you have the time, to share some of your favourite places (including all the vintage shops, of course!)...

Cat xxx
http://www.takecourageblog.com/

Penny said...

honestly you are the person I would bombarde with questions if you ever considered doing a FAQ post :) for the moment can i ask what your thesis is about? and in my case, i find that making some effort to get dressed every day and maybe force myself to a cafe or library motivates me a little to study!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Aw, thanks ladies! I know it's just a process, but I'm just in my day 2 slump! And Cat, I'll definitely see about making a guide of some sort, though there aren't too many vintage shops here (and they tend to be the overpriced polyester crap type)!

Rebeccak said...

I feel your pain! Now we are at the end of semester my calendar is a whole lot of blank for me to fill in with research and writing - it is pretty daunting!! And I am at home - not abroad!

I'm sure there are lots of wonderful internet resources out there to help you find some structure, but I find timetabling myself works well. I try to start each day in a cafe, writing for two hours. Even if I don't know what I'm thinking yet and I walk out with an almost blank page - having that daily schedule to get me up and out really helps.

And then I suppose it is a matter of breaking everything up into small manageable tasks and giving yourself deadlines. I tend to ask someone else to help me enforce these (or I'll cheat!). Good luck with it! You can do it! :)

Emma said...

love this outfit, the colour combinations are gorgeous and that necklace is so cute

the nyanzi report said...

cool outfit.

Xavi said...

Vengaaaaaaaaaaaaa. :) :) esos ánimos.
I know the boring sensation but you must work and with a good day structure you can!!!

Eleni said...

My boyfriend is feeling the same: his Masters is due in October so he's on the final stretch, and that creeping temptation to just hide and avoid it all has started rearing it's ugly little head! It sounds like you know what you're doing though, but I still wanted to send my sympathies :)

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Rebeccak: I'm off to the cafe now! Although I have nothing to write yet, still in the research phase.
@Elena: Thanks ; ) I don't know how you got the impression I know what I'm doing though!

Carrie said...

Love that first photo - what a cool wall (and you fit right in). Hang in there - I know that early days slump, but this too shall pass (and you know that). As soon as you get your bearings (and find a favorite coffee shop) you'll thrive. :-)

The Daily Fashionista said...

I love your pretty laid back look. The locket is something a bit odd, but in a cool way:)

Good luck with your research. Sorry you're homesick too. That is always hard, but you'll get in the swing of things.

Closet Fashionista said...

Loving the outfit!! Ugh, that stinks about the necklace, I hate when jewelry is annoying like that, haha
I hope that you get all your research done, which I know you will! :D :D
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

A said...

I think you mentioned before but I forgot. What is your research topic?

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Penny and A: I'm studying Barcelona's bike-share program, Bicing

Shybiker said...

I admire your jet-setting travels and ability to fit into different cultures. It probably makes you a more rounded, cultivated person than the rest of us.

I've lived twice as long as you but haven't had those experiences and feel I'm far behind you in the personal development they create. I hope someday to catch up to you!

Maria E. said...

You'll be fine, dear. ♥ I get dreadfully homesick sometimes when I'm not even all that far from home. Like going to summer camps just an hour from home...that puts me in a cold sweat. And you're all traveling about in different countries! You are so brave and I really admire that. And you'll get your research and stuff done WONDERFULLY! I know it! :)

That necklace is darling! It reminds me of my grandma, who's name was Dorothy. I actually have these huge, vintage ruby slipper earrings from her. :) And your whole outfit is just lovely, as always. :)

xoxo
Maria Elyse
First Impressions
Flying Ships Vintage

Faff said...

V cute outfit! Love your necklace, altho its a shame its not up to scratch, cheap jewellery turns me off a bit :)

CessOviedo said...

Think this is my favorite outfit from you so far, I mean I can remember tons of great ones, but this totally lovely! Don't know if it was the cute necklace or the pretty skirt, but you look adorable!

Cess O. <3 The Outfit Diaries

islabell said...

Awwww I totally know that feeling. The first week is the hardest but when you get your bearings it will be better. I wish I was going to Barcelona now! WIll you be visiting Albert in Germany this month? maybe our paths will cross
x
p.s. of coourse you look adorable as always, i love your oxfords

Amber Rose, Laughing With Broken Eyes said...

I know how disorienting it is to be in a new place alone, but like you said, just force structure on your days and get your bearings about you. (Am I warranted to give advice? Probably not, but that's never stopped me.)

Just think of how exciting all your travels will be for your memoirs. Plus, when i travel, you'll be that much more experienced to help me!!! <3

gee said...

i know i would feel the same way as you are right now.
all your travels always sound so wonderful to me..but i do not know if i could do it by myself sometimes. i wish i could, but i am a hermit.
anyways, you look beautiful. i love the first picture so much with the mural in the background.
i can not wait to see the next set of photos soon.
have a wonderful week love.

jess said...

I love your necklace. Good luck on your research.

Raquel said...

Hurray best cardigan bargain ever ;) And I won't even mention Les Jumelles... Such a disappointment!

Aw I'm sad you're feeling like that, I seem to be having the opposite, I am really tired of being in London practically alone and can't wait to go to Portugal next week! Enjoy the better weather (hope so) and see my family again! Well I hope your new country syndrome passes soon and enjoy the beach for me ;)

rebecca said...

ohh, i'm sure you'll settle in soon as barcelona is such a busy city, good luck with all your research!

http://itscohen.blogspot.com/

CAITLIN said...

writing your dissertation in barcelona, eh? how very vicky-cristina :) i'm sorry to hear you have new country syndrome--i've never traveled anywhere on my own, but i can imagine it can be pretty alienating at first. research is tough. usually when i do research for any of my projects i'm really gung-ho at first and when it finally comes time to put that research to work i'm sick of the topic. at least you have a deadline--working without one is damn near impossible!

at least your outfit is awesome--that scarf is perfect!

Laura @ The World Looks Red said...

Aw, sorry you didn't get to see Sufjan! I was also IN TEARS when I found out there was a ticket ballot. I was so afraid I wasn't gonna get to see him! He was sort of the only artist I was looking forward to seeing. Both me and the boy signed up for the raffle and he won. So sucky. I understand the closed venue thing, and it definitely wouldn't have come across on an open-air festival-stage, but I think they should have just let people queue up instead of having this stupid ballot where tons of people who didn't even REALLY care, got to go in. :(

eliza said...

I love the colour combinations you've put together here & I'm a big fan of your cardigan...lovely :) Hope you settle in & start to feel a bit better about being in Barcelona soon, at least you have your research to keep you busy. I'm moving very soon & admittedly not to another country but somewhere where I don't know anyone, so I'll soon know how you feel! :)

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

So sorry to here you're having a little bit of difficulty. Keep trucking along and things will fall into place. :)

Amber Blue Bird said...

you will feel right at home soon enough. The first few days are always hard but you are a sweet girl and an awesome dresser so I am sure people will be lining up to be your friend and take you out on the town :)

Liza said...

I'm sorry you're feeling down; I hope it all gets better. I love your outfit. The necklace is really lovely.

x

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

Where have you been hiding that skirt?! It's such a lovely shape and color. Looks like you and Raquel did score some great things at the car boot sale. Does a cardigan get much better than being wool and green?

Best of luck with your dissertation research and with settling in. I'm sure you'll get a routine down in no time!

Ah, our little Emily of New Moon. Did she wax poetic about lilacs? I get the feeling that she did...

NRIGirl said...

Love that locket Emily! Good luck with Barcelona. How is the summer there? Too hot?

NRIGirl said...

Or moderate? Sorry I hit sent before I finished my question...

April said...

Love the background of that first photo! And I really like the photo on the locket, but that sucks that it's actually not as nice as it looks. :\ Good luck with your research!

Margaret said...

The necklace is just too cute!

I've had some pretty terrible experiences while in a foreign country. Like the time when I went to Salzburg thinking my travel agent booked my hotel when she didn't. And I cried like a little kid outside thinking that I was going to be kidnapped! But I was only 13, so I think I should deserve some slack :DD

hila said...

I can totally relate to the feeling of "new country syndrome." I've experienced it often. Good luck with your dissertation!

on a purely superficial note, I love your outfit.

JazmineKariss said...

Loving the scarf and navy skirt:)
-Jaz
http://www.fluffyfashioncents.blogspot.com

L. of Hey Nancy said...

You inspire me, Emily! All this moving about and all with such poise and grace and courage! I am moving to Germany in August and I think I might have to pick your brain about what to pack and how to cope with 'new country syndrome'!
I completely agree regarding cardigans - so useful but it's so hard to find the perfect fit, material and basic colours. This one looks like a gem!
I also really appreciated your comment on my blog post - your words were sweet and much appreciated. The exact same to you! I'll still be reading/commenting on your blog and don't worry, it really isn't veering into the trivial territory ;) I'll let you know when I start a new blog :)

Fear is a Dirty Word said...

I hope your 'new country syndrome' subsides, it sounds just terrible to be so lonely in a new place!

Ashley/ MILK TEETHS said...

Emily! NCS sucks. Although I've never lived anywhere foreign, many of my friends have told me how lonely being in a new place can get but luckily that feeling always subsides. Is Albert back in Germany for good? Also, i'm curious, what's your dissertation on? Anyway, i'm excited to catch up on your posts--you always have some of the best ones!

Bethany Kellen of bunnypicnic said...

i'm having a love affair with this outfit. you'll start feeling better soon. i promise!

Annebeth said...

I'm 100% sure you'll find your place soon enough, you always do :) and this is a delightful little casual outfit!

Krystal said...

I really like this outfit a lot. If you get too down you can come visit me in switzerland :)

Katie said...

Oh my goodness! This is one of my favorite outfits of yours yet!! Your skirt is amazing, and I love how it and the cardigan match your scarf! Great job!!

How can you like Jeremy more than Bennedict Cumberbatch??? You have utterly and completely shocked me - so much so that i am speechless, which is quite a feat indeed! :O

Alicia said...

oh wow wow wow!! I love love the skirt and they way you wear it! I aam so so jealous! :))
Alicia im Wunderland

Ashley said...

I love this outfit so much!!!!!