How to Be A Citizen of The World: An Option for Modern Life
A citizen of the world is not only someone who travels, but is also someone with a specific attitude. For people living in our modern age it has never been easier to indulge in wanderlust. As a result, a new type of movable lifestyle has emerged consisting of people who regularly change location. However travellers are not necessarily global thinkers.
The Definition of a Citizen of the World
There is a huge difference between someone who has travelled, compared to someone who has actually lived in different places. It relates to how much an individual has chosen to embrace the local customs and culture. The first group of people live the way they do at home except in another location. The alternative group negotiate everyday life in the same way as local people. In other words, they learn from the environment, and acknowledge this as an opportunity to grow.
To be a citizen of the world is to absorb what each community has to offer in terms of lifestyle. This means getting to know the customs, food, activities and anything else that every day existence consists of. Then, by choosing the influences you want to implement in your own life, you can create a unique way of living that is a collage of ideas from many diverse places.
Letting Go Of Control
In effect this means continuously unlearning what you know, and, at the same time, avoid indulging in habitual activities. To truly be global means you have to drop the threads of your life, and give up a certain level control, in order to be open to new ideas. Some people may find this a terrifying concept. However, if you are willing to attempt it, there is a lot to learn from the process of remaking and remodelling.
If you are the above type of person you probably don’t identify with one place specifically. Instead you tend to examine the details of the various environments you have inhabited, and as a result, you go through a process of sifting out the ones you relate to from the ones that don’t do much to enhance your personal world view. You select and reject what you want to use. Where you call home becomes something other than where you were born, or grew up. Instead it is a fluid concept based on how connected you feel to each place.
Cultivating An Attitude
Being open to unexpected ideas, and distancing yourself from making judgements, is essential. You also have to be happy to think of your life as unfinished, untitled, a work in progress. Being a citizen of the world is to be constantly in flux. You can make this work if you can let go of the idea of being settled, and essentially regard yourself as a tiny, mutable part of a much larger matrix. Once you adopt this stance you can start adapting, learning, growing, and being at one with yourself anywhere you happen to be. You can see this approach as a chance to assess and customize your ideas, in order to continuously reinvent yourself and the world you inhabit.
Jumper Label Lab
Skirt Campo dei Fiori, Rome
Coat (vintage) Antoni & Alison
Shoes IRONg, Rome
Necklace and Bracelet Vestopazzo, Rome
Sunglasses (vintage) Balenciaga
All photos taken by Ju Underwood in Linlithgow, Scotland