Ria Sen discusses her life and mindset after living in eight countries around the globe. She is a Disaster Risk Reduction Expert for the World Food Programme, currently living in Rome, Italy.
Ria is one of those global citizens who not only holds a broad perspective, but uses it day-to-day to help others and the world. Since meeting her in London, I’ve watched her take off with her career in places like Thailand, Fiji, and Italy. She is one of the best examples I know of someone successfully promoting sustainable global living and understanding.
Here’s the perspective of a woman with the will and determination to make things better.
Introducing Global Citizen… Ria Sen
- What do you do? Global Risk Advisor
- Years Abroad: 11 years (wow – first time I counted!).
- Home? Honestly, I don’t feel like I am ‘of’ any country anymore, having moved as much as I have – eight countries! I feel I am currently more Italian than anything else, and living in Rome since 2018.
- Languages: 2 native and bilingual, 1 fairly intermediate and 2 basic
- Where will you be five years from now? That is up for grabs! Currently, Rome is home!
Dear Global Citizen…
Being of no place and every place – all at once – captures what it means to be a true global citizen to me.
I find myself belonging to the country I call home at a certain moment in time. That belongingness may be stronger in certain countries than others. For instance, now living in Italy, I feel quite Italian in my ways and unhesitatingly call this country home. After living in eight countries, I noticed that the country I inhabit becomes a ‘case study’ for me. It becomes an example, if you will, of how things function in that world – or perhaps, we can call it that version of the world! I look at its quirks as lovingly as I do a person I am fond of.
I find myself belonging to the country I call home at a certain moment in time.
We can also look at the sustainable global living dimension to the term global citizen. To me, it means living within my means, but also making smart consumer choices in keeping with planetary limits. In moving all these times across the world for my work, my worry is in the carbon footprint – relocation is a big task! I keep my personal possessions to a minimum and do not invest in any movable furniture or equipment. I usually accept furnished apartments, and keep the buying to set up a new place to the least possible. This means when I move, it is mainly a few boxes and myself!
My work as a disaster risk analyst means I am all the more painfully aware of the need for more sustainable living, and I try and action this to my best ability through my lifestyle, but also through public fora, where I often guest lecture on such issues to the youth.
Where our Global Citizen has called home
Being a foreign civil servant means I move around fairly frequently and spend most of my time in travels for business. As a passionate adventurer too, in my free time, I enjoy visiting new places and acclimatizing to new cultures and peoples. I have a quality where I can look at the world from a distance – that’s a function of a risk analyst mind, I believe – but I also enjoy being a part of that world for the time I am there! I believe living in the present is a real gift – to grasp every moment and squeeze the most out of it, geography no matter.