If anyone asks me about the happiest moments in my life, I would definitely say that living in Buffalo is part of my top list.
I am a Mexican designer, while I was in college I decided to study abroad one semester. And I have to admit it; it was one of the scariest yet exciting decisions in my life.
Is not easy to leave everything you know and all the people you care about to be in a place where you don´t know anyone and/or anywhere, but it was such an enriching experience, that I would never regret it.
An obstacle race
Yes, that’s exactly what it feels like at the beginning. There are so many procedures that you have to follow in order to get all your papers done. Searching for a cheap and short flight, a place where to live at, looking at the medical suggestions, the language certificate, the student visa, I could keep on saying a lot more things that you need to get done before the expected date arrives, but I have no intention of scaring or getting you upset by thinking about them now. What I do want you to know is that it is a hard and complicated path, but at the end, you will never regret about anything in that long procedure.
Packing for a 6 months travel
So after all the requirements and paperwork are done, comes the relax and emotion about going to a new place, the goodbye parties, and all the packing.
For me, it was really complicated to know what clothes to bring with me. Before Buffalo, I had never met the snow, so I had no idea of how would it be living in such a cold and snowy place.
I can barely choose what I´m going to wear each morning, and that day I had to choose the clothes for the next six months! I left Mexico in January, so I spent in Buffalo the worst part of the winter and also part of spring. Have I mentioned that Buffalo´s weather is super extreme? Extremely cold in winter and extremely hot in spring. So I decided to just take a few shirts for spring time because the jackets and winter clothes occupied almost all the space in my suitcase.
The adventure begins
Suddenly you wake up one day and you realize that it was the last night in a long time that you will have your bed, your room, your family, friends and your country! Can you imagine? It is a really tough moment but also very exciting at the same time. I remember how hard it was for me to say goodbye to all those things while I was leaving my home and taking my way to the airport. I didn´t know what to expect from what would be my home during the next six months, but I was sure about one thing: this was the day that one of my life dreams came true.
Experiencing the unknown
Picture this image: Short girl arriving at a country of tall people, with a big coat, big snow boots and a suitcase that is almost her same size. I felt ridiculous!
But none of that matter, because I was finally there!
Can you imagine how excited I was when I finally got to know the snow? Everything was new to me, I felt like a child. Asking, touching and seeing everything I could. Buffalo is a small city, but it is quite beautiful. The people was so welcoming that all my nerves flew away.
The first three weeks were the hardest, I consider myself as a shy person, it is hard for me to make new friends, and this was one of the reasons why I wanted to be in the position of being in a place where I didn´t know anyone. For me, it was a challenge! I was challenging myself to do all the things that I was afraid of
. Fortunately, I made friends quickly, new classes, new teachers, three amazing roommates, everything was perfect! I couldn´t believe how fast I got used to my new life. ” I must be a heartless person”, I thought when I found out that I wasn´t feeling homesick anymore. I felt totally in love with my new home, I grew so much in a short period of time, that I was completely a different person. I liked much more the new version of me, I was a better person. Every day I became a more independent woman.
I remember one special moment when I realized how happy I was with myself. We were on a school break and some friends from back home were going to visit me. All my school friends went out, so I was all by myself one week before my Mexican friends arrive. One day, I made a video call with my boyfriend from that time. He couldn´t believe how happy I looked. I could tell that he noticed something different in me, so he asked me, Why are you so happy? And it was until that moment when I realized how strong, independent and complete I could be by just enjoying who I am and loving myself. I guess that was really the moment when I stopped worrying about being alone. That was the moment when I left the shy girl behind.
Going back home
People who have lived in another country won´t let me lie. It takes a long time to get used to your hometown again. Once you lived in another country, you became a seeker of adventure. It has been two years since I came back, and I still want to live that experience again. I discovered so much about myself at that time, grew so much and valued so many things, that traveling became a priority thing for me in my life. Every trip is a new adventure, and every adventure is a new chance for you to love more your life and to enjoy more the wonderful world that we have.