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Skipping Summer

The Grass is Always Greener

PERU | Monday, 5 May 2014 | Views [167] | Scholarship Entry

How did I end up here, you may ask me, me being a Peruvian citizen living in Peru. Actually you may not ask at all. I won’t deny the fact that it’s a ostensibly boring and uneventful story about a girl at a standstill, blind and unknowing of the world around her. And while I do find myself caged by the situations that have brought me to this seemingly simple life, the world and I are no strangers, I will not be this trapped bird forever, and this is my story.
Besides a single color – gray – I have no memories from before the time I was six. And even then they come in flashes of images: me wearing a gaudy yellow (I detest the color now) sweater and jeans as I set the dinner table, me a little older walking into my parents’ room while they were…indisposed. My more complete memories start on the day of my seventh birthday. We were living in the pool house of a stranger’s (to me) Burbank home. I remember my parents singing Happy Birthday and cutting what I thought was a chocolate cake. Until I saw it had a green middle, that is. That was also the first time I had ice cream cake.
I was too young to realize then that we were homeless.
But life gifted me well. We rented a place for a couple of years and then bought a condo out of the big city. It is the most beautiful place in my memories. In Rancho Cucamonga the grass was greener, the sky bluer. I've never been happier than I was then.
I fell in love there for the very first time. Or as close as you get to love when you're twelve. Maybe he would've been the one had the US economy not taken a downturn.
When my parents lost their job, the told me we'd have to go live in Peru for a year, two at most, ride the recession out. Before that moment I'd had no idea that they, unlike me, weren't American. I watched them sell our belongings bit by painful bit but it wasn't until we were on that plane that they told me. "We're not going back," they said. "You can't ever go back."
As it turns out I never was who I thought I was. My home was a country that never wanted me and won't take me back even now. My love a country I don't belong in. But that's okay. I am who I am now, I can write how I write now, because of it. I have been given this lesson in order to nourish my passion.
So this that's how I got to where I am now: through lies and misunderstandings, pain and sorrow. And I'm glad I did. I love my country - the US - but now I have seen so much more. I've traveled and gained experiences. I am eager for more.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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