It’s been a while since I’ve sat on a square looking at people. I know it sounds creepy but it really isn’t. I’m just sitting, taking in the environment, being alone with my thoughts and appreciating being alive. Yet here I am sitting in front of a beautiful building with another one behind me. Doing what I love the most, writing. On these days I can’t help but wonder about the different set ups of society. Not as in first world, second and third but more the differences of every country. I’m still in Peru and have gotten completely used to life here even though somethings are still new and I’m still understanding my surrounding.
While preparing for coming here we were told that life here is completely different from what we’re used to back in Europe. Latin American life is way more slow-paced and we should prepare ourselves for these lifestyle changes as it is more than just a vacation. The way we supposedly ‘’attack’’ life in Europe doesn’t flow here and that was something we had to keep in mind. Also the norms and values we consider normal might be different. Which is all true, whenever and wherever you travel.
Before getting on the plane I’d carefully considered all that I was told and prepared as much as I could for the changes coming. There’s just one thing I didn’t completely credit myself for which ended up being a stumble block. The thing is I’m not like the people who gave me the well-meant advises. My upbringing has not been European. I have had a Caribbean upbringing which has a lot of kinship with Latin America. Even part of my family is Latin American and better yet I, myself, descend from a Latin American country.
All this meant that the things i’m supposed to think are weird I find normal because i do it too either in Europe or when I visit Curaçao . Thus all the ‘’stress’’ of trying to be as well prepared as possible was unnecessary and very misplaced. My parents have been preparing me since birth. You know I came here thinking that my neurotic planner self was going to have hard time adjusting to a Peruvian lifestyle, while in reality none of that happened. I feel great, relaxed and in place.
With in place I mean I know how to compose myself here. This thought came to me after four days of being here. Just four days, I still can’t say that of the me I am when I’m in Europe. The weird thing is that this is not the first time this has happened to me. When I was 12 or 13 I spent a summer in Curaçao and after a week there I had the exact same feeling. The feeling of understanding my surrounding and my surrounding understanding me.
I just can’t help but wonder why this happened in this way. Upon first landing I felt amazing, after a couple of days anxiety struck in a way that it hasn’t in a long time. However now after realizing who I am and what I know my anxiety left almost completely. Which to be honest does make me suspicious but I’ve decided to enjoy the ride. I just can’t help but wonder how understanding my surrounding could have such a massive influence on how I feel, am and operate.
Yes it does make sense but in other ways it also really doesn’t. At least not to me. Is it possible to be a confused kind of extremely happy? I think that is where I am right now. Beyond grateful to be able to add this experience to my life, to learn new things and to meet new people.
I knew from the moment I got on the plane that my life would be changing, I guess I was right.