About a year and a half ago, I traveled abroad for the first time.It was such a challenge for me to leave my country, first of all because I was just with my best friend and had no family support, and secondly because I was leaving not because I wanted to be a tourist, but to get out of my comfort zone working in a place totally different and pretty far from everything.
The departure date was approaching and definitely my emotions, fears, excitement and expectations every day were higher and higher. My mind was full of questions: Would I be able to face this new phase of my life? Am I brave enough to be alone in a different culture? Would Canada be like people paint it in the movies? Am I going to be rich if I stay there instead of where I’m from? What about holidays like Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day and the other famous ones? Normally, a person has different ways of thinking about this kind of celebrations, traditions and why not? malls, cars, streets, buildings, restaurants, behaviors that are going to find abroad like no traffic, no corruption, no homeless people or poverty and that’s not even a bad way of thinking; usually when you visit another culture you will find differences between where you’re from and the place you’re visiting. And that’s part about living your comfort zone and being able to meet any other culture. Which you can see it in two different ways: the positive and the wrong one (got it because maybe you heard this information from an article in google, movies, songs or maybe one of your friend’s father went to USA and then told you some information about that culture with no basis and no support)
Once I was in Canada, after 5 months living there, sharing with native people and getting to know the culture deeply; my mind, perspective and way of thinking changed a hundred percent. Surprisingly, one of the most amazing things happened on November the 20th, when I decided to go to the grocery store to get some stuff and I saw so many places, trees and buildings decorated with Christmas lights. Christmas lights? Yes. For sure, many Colombian people will say –seriously? I thought Colombia was the only intense one where people start decorating and waiting excited about presents, Christmas songs, food and stuff- and absolutely not. That’s a lie! There are lots and lots of Canadians (and I still don’t know which other country does that too, but after this I can give a chance to every country) who love, and enjoy decorating early. This experience changed this thought and blew my mind even though it is not something amazing and “new” but it was such a good way of learning from a tiny thing. And that let me change one of my wrong thoughts that underestimated not only my country but also others’.