Melany Torres: Miami as Text 2023

Spring Encounter as Text by Melany Torres, January 27th 2023

  Taken by Melany Torres

  As a kid, the only country that my family spoke about was the one they emigrated from.  Because of that, the only traveling we did was a highly anticipated trip to the keys if my dad was working on a house there. I didn’t think it was financially possible for us to go anywhere. For a while it wasn’t, but even when we were comfortable: my parents just wanted to feel like true Americans. To them this meant buying expensive things they thought Americans needed such as a pool or a giant barbecue. I’m learning in one of my global courses now that this constant urge to further assimilate is a burden every exile carries with them their whole life. I sometimes wish I could convince them to open up to different experiences because they truly deserve it.
However, my interest in traveling kept growing as I saw more and more places on the internet and I realized I could not be in a bubble all my life. Work, school, eat, sleep,repeat. So I decided when I went to college that If I could find an opportunity to travel and live somewhere different for some time on my own, I would. I joined the Honors college with the intentions of traveling abroad through them. The day I went to the informational session, I went home and I told my partner that I was going without a doubt. I chose France because it’s rich in art and history, and I hope that this inspires me to write more. Along with allowing me to meet new people so that I can continue to learn more about the human experience. The projects intertwine our experiences with those of people who lived entirely different lives than us, I couldn’t imagine a better way to learn history. 

  The last time I went to Paris about a year ago in the winter, I cried while looking at the Eiffel Tower (like a loser) for a couple of reasons. 1) I wished my parents could be there seeing it with me. 2) It was New Year’s Day and what a better time to be cheesy 3) I kept thinking about the atrocious Eiffel Tower poster I had hung up in my room for about 3 years. It was bedazzled and my friends took pictures in front of it because it was the most terrible drawing I’ve ever seen of the Eiffel Tower. Will try to attach that photo if I find it. Anyways, I couldn’t understand it then but now I realize that was one of those moments that alters you, because I felt like I needed to go somewhere else again soon. I love traveling and I wasn’t sure where to start exactly but this is where I’m at right now. I’m excited to see myself surpass a lot of limitations that have daunted me before such as my anxiety and having to financially plan myself out. Luckily, there is a scholarship for this very reason and I now find myself even more assured that I made the right decision in choosing to go. 

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