Archive | 10:00 am

Living Abroad

9 Jun

You might think that when a person moves to another country they have a million stories to tell. And I think it’s true because I think I could write a 10 page essay with all the things that have happened to me while I’ve been here. I’m not going to write a 10 page essay here, though. I’m too lazy for that.

I certainly don’t want to give people the impression that during my time here it has all been bad. Wonderful things have happened. But living away from home has been harder than I thought. It’s not just the being homesick part, even though that is one of the worst parts. There are so many major differences between the American system and the Colombian one. I suppose if an American decides to suddenly start living in Colombia, they would encounter the same problems I have encountered.

It was so difficult getting used to everything. Starting with transportation. Here, at least in NC, you must have a car. Not having a car is like not having feet. You can’t get anywhere without a car. To be able to purchase a car, you must have a driver’s licence too. And trust me, getting a licence here is NOT like getting a licence in Barranquilla. It’s almost like they give them away in Barranquilla. Leaving my house on a random Sunday afternoon to watch a movie at the mall was no big deal. I could either walk 10 minutes or take a taxi and be there in 5.

When I first moved to the US, I was living in a very rural area of NC. Don’t get me wrong where I live now is no metropolis, but at least I can get to the nearest Walmart or drugstore  in 5-10 minutes instead of the 40 mins I had to drive before. Still, that is light years away from my life in Barranquilla.

Transportation was not the only issue. Food was also a concern, at least at the beginning. Everything tasted weird and after I ate, without fail, my stomach would start grumbling like crazy. There were many things that I didn’t like from the start like collard greens, kale, or sweet potatoes.  Eventually, I developed a taste for the food and I truly learned to enjoy it. Cultural differences were also an issue at first. Silly things mostly. Like I would say something serious to a group of people and they would laugh as if I had made a joke. Or things that people said that were meant to make me laugh and I didn’t get at all. With time I have come to understand that there are aspect of one’s culture that simply cannot be explained.

I guess there is really no point for me to be writing about this other than to say, it takes time. It takes time to get settled in a new life when you are living abroad.