To leave home behind for a US education

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To leave home behind for a US education

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Every day I dream of waking up to the sound of the wind in the palm trees and the sound of crashing waves. I dream of the warm, tropical breeze stroking my cheeks in the sunlight and I dream of a happy family dinner filled with jokes, laughter and the flavors and smells of my mother’s kitchen. Instead, I study, work hard and spend my days thinking about how lucky I am to have escaped our reality and of being able to start a new life elsewhere. Nonetheless, it is with a heavy heart that I cherish the memories of growing up in a country that had so much potential, and yet, fell into a downward spiral of chaos.

Venezuela used to be one of the most economically and socially thriving countries in South America, where people went to dive into the crystal waters at the beach or to seek adventure within the exotic mysteries of the Amazon Jungle. But the economic and political anarchy we have been facing this past decade plunged our country into its darkest years.

Having to leave your home is not easy.  I am not talking about moving out of your parents house or going away for college. I am talking about packing your whole life into two suitcases and leave the place you grew up in, your friends and your family, to start it all from scratch; because home is not a safe place anymore.

It is not that we want to leave, we do not. It is not that we want to “invade” other countries to steal jobs, it is that we cannot survive in the sad reality that has become our home. We are sad. We are terrified. We just want to live normally.

There are things that people who have been living their whole lives in developed countries might take for granted. Sadly, Caracas has become one of the most dangerous cities in the world and daily occurrences have become a luxury. Walking the streets without the constant fear of being robbed or kidnapped, being able to find food in the supermarket or medicine for the ill in a hospital are only some of the numerous problems we face every single day back home (Not to mention the massive increase in poverty).

This is why anyone who finds the opportunity to leave and lead a normal life, goes in search of comfort and tranquility. However, it does not mean that we stop caring for our country. We do. It just means that as human beings, we all deserve to live somewhere we feel safe and where have the opportunity to thrive emotionally and professionally.

Make no mistake; it is a bittersweet sentiment- leaving one’s country. Should we be happy we left or sad that we “abandoned” the cause? Why do some of us get this opportunity while others continue struggling in the prison that has become our home?

These are not easy questions to answer, but something we can be certain of is that those of us who find the opportunity should take advantage of our luck and make the best of it.

Here is my advice for all emotionally conflicted immigrants out there: do what interests you. Get an education and flourish as a professional so that you can eventually go back home and be part of the generation that will rebuild the country that saw you grow and blossom. Be the person that will help recover the land that owns half of your heart and is forever present in your dreams.