Before I went abroad, as I wrote about in my first post, I was excited to experience a different part of the world, but I was worried that my I would miss my Latin roots. I was worried that the the things that helped me feel connected to my heritage, such as speaking the language, eating the food, and being close to my family would make it hard for me to feel connected to where I came from. I am so happy to say that I didn’t feel far from my roots, and that I could find Latin culture if I looked, and sometimes it would find me. Not only did I feel close to this part of my identity, but all the other parts of me that make my who I am.
London is an amazing place; it’s obviously a British city, but there is so much culture from all over the world found in the streets. You can find anything there; even arepas and tequeños. When traveling to other places, sometimes I would feel like the odd one out; I’m not completely American, but I’m also not recently moved from South America, so it’s hard to see where I fit in. In London, most of the people I met were just like me. Some came from a family that was from England, but many were immigrants just like me. Although we were all different, that’s what brought us all together.
Studying abroad in general helped me learn so much about myself. What I’m bad at, what I’m good at, that I should probably practice my cooking skills, how to make my perfect cup of tea, and that I can truly and successfully adapt to my environment and make a life that I can enjoy. It taught me that even miles away, I could stumble across a Venezuelan restaurant and have a meal that tasted like it was made in my kitchen by my parents. I was so doubtful of myself and that I would not be successful because I had been doing so great at home; why would I leave and try and mess things up? But I am so glad I did. I am so glad I “messed them up,” and I’ll admit, my first few weeks, I thought I had, but what came after was an experience that I didn’t know could be possible. I am so glad that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go to London. I think my time there not only allowed me to feel close to the person I already was, but it allowed me to discover so many things about myself and about what I want to get out of life, and I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything.