The last 10 days have had their fair share of challenging and beautiful moments.
One thing about me, and my friends and family can probably attest, is that I love talking. Probably too much. Having genuine and raw conversations with people is one of the few things in life that fulfill my soul.
The most difficult thing about studying abroad in a country and only having a rudimentary set of language skills, however, is that I feel like I can’t fully be myself. I feel sometimes like the language barrier is impairing my ability to have this type of conversation that I so desperately crave.
Fully submerging myself into a Spanish-speaking culture has been incredible and I’m already learning so much, don’t get me wrong. But peering into a circle of Chileans talking with Spaniards, Mexicans or other Chileans is beautiful to hear and tough to decipher. I can’t help but feel like I’m just one step behind everyone constantly.
On the other hand, since it’s still difficult for me to sustain a conversation for more than 15 minutes, for the first time in my life, I’ve been truly listening.
The principal observation I’ve made is that all of us kids are the same. Before I came here I had these preconceived notions about how much different Latin American and European young adults were going to be from me. But we’re all the same. We’re all here for the same reasons and we all want the same things out of this experience.
I mean I met a kid from Andorra this week. I met kids from central France and northern Mexico and eastern Spain this week. And we all talked and laughed for hours. I think that if people would stop focusing on all the different colors and accents and customs and religions and realize that we’re all just trying to do this life thing to the best of our abilities, the world would be a much more kind place.
Que les vaya bien,