Thursday, October 22, 2015

Living Abroad Changes You Forever

I've been getting a specific question, repeatedly, in the comments lately. "Where are you from?"

I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina. And yes, we speak Spanish here but with a notoriously different accent than the rest of Latin America, with the exception of Uruguay. They speak almost exactly like us!

I learned English from a very young age. The first time I stayed in the U.S., for more than a regular vacation time period, and by myself, I was 17. 

I went to a lovely High school near Fresno, California. Alina from Argentina, the exchange student that stayed in sunny California for three months! Although, it was not that sunny, it was snowy, and the beautiful town was located up in the mountains.

After that, I was hooked. I completely loved it. My transformation had begun. When I returned, I completed my Licensure in Human Resources and Public Relations in Buenos Aires. A few years later, my husband and I got our Masters degrees in Atlanta. He got his in Business Administration (MBA) and I got mine in Professional Counseling (MSPC).

We lived in the USA for three and a half years, and completely changed. The young woman that went to the U.S. never returned, she evolved into a different one. 

The thing about living abroad is that you learn so much daily, from different areas of life, that you can never unlearn them and return to your old self. It's similar to growing up. There's no such thing as going back to your childhood years. 

So, when we returned to Buenos Aires, nothing felt the same: friends, family, our house, our neighbors. It felt like living in a second dimension of your old self. It's back to the same people...but not quite. Back to your old neighborhood, but not exactly. The eyes that see these things have definitely changed.

Alfred Adler, the great psychologist explained it: your world, your view of the world is changed by your thinking. Whatever your mind dictates, that is what you see. The same thing, viewed by two different people, can result in two completely different appreciations. So, this is why I returned a different person.

It is bitter sweet, but so worth it. The emotional and intellectual growth that you experience is invaluable. Living in a different country gives you immense room for growth. Whether you want it or not. It's happening, you will be learning until your head hurts, literally! The amazing part is that it's something that nobody will ever take from you. It becomes part of your identity.

Have you ever lived abroad? Was your experience similar to mine or not at all? Have you ever considered living in a different country for a while?

P.S. Our vacations at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. and The World of Coca Cola

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