Meghan Marrero-Beyra: Miami as Text 2023

Encounter As Text

“Liberty & Cultural Immersion”

By Meghan Marrero-Beyra of FIU at Modesto A. Maidique Campus, January 27, 2023

There are so many reasons to travel and study away, but for me, it is invigorating and exciting to go abroad. It is more than just a vacation; it is a taste of living as a local and experiencing other cultures. Becoming fully immersed in their ways of life and the way they compare to how we live. This experience will be one of the first true tastes of freedom for me in many regards. Like a bird-setting flight, but this one is heading to France. Nothing will compare to the relationships and bonds we build when exploring other countries and cultures with people we otherwise would never know. All of these encompass my reasons for going away.

I have always loved photography to me it is a symbol of capturing short glimpses of time and freezing them forever to be able to look back upon them. They are glimpses into the past and what can soon be the future much like this experience will be for me. I will be capturing moments in the present that I will forever carry in my perception of the future. I am excited to go abroad and be able to capture moments that will last a lifetime. There will never really be another time in my life when I will be able to leave for over a month for Europe. Which is both exciting and nerve-racking. It is exciting because I will be traveling around Europe with my best friend making memories that are once in a lifetime. We will be able to have these unique memories that we will never forget. Being able to tell our families and our future kids about our worldly experiences is another aspect that I am excited about. Being able to share experiences that are so unique to us will not just be another trip where we just scratch the surface of the culture and customs of a country, we will live like the locals. The bonds we will make with the other 19 students in our class along with the professor is another aspect that will be like no other.

Though this trip will be fun and exciting some aspects are a bit nerve-racking. For instance, I have never been on a plane without my family so this will be the first time flying without them. I have also never spent so much time away from my family or home. We have always been a small family which is great because we have quality time together, but that also makes leaving them so much harder. Even though it is not that long of a time in retrospect you just never know what can happen. Though I know my family is very excited for me which is all I could ask for it is just that I will miss them so much. Though their love and support make it that much easier.

In many regards, this trip will be the first authentic taste of freedom for me. First, I paid for this trip all by myself with the money I made from working. But even more than that it is the first time I will be away from home for a long period. Coming from an immigrant Cuban family as not only the youngest (the baby) but also the only girl can be difficult sometimes. A lot of things are expected of me, and my family can sometimes be very overprotective of me. So going away for a long period to another country across the Atlantic is not always the easiest for them or me. This trip will be a big transition for me since I am not used to living so away from family and being able to go venture through other countries with my friends. It is a freedom I could never really experience at another time in my life.

France study abroad for me will be like living in another world. The culture and expectations are and will be so different from those I am used to in Miami. It is the one time in my life when I can truly live with no obligations. I can just pick up and leave. There is a sense of relief in that. Being able to live life so differently across the Atlantic will be memories to cherish.

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