Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why I Decided to Leave The United States

I’ve been moving from place to place since I was a baby. It first happened when my folks relocated from San Juan, my birth province, to Mendoza. A few years later we moved to Cordoba, my mother’s home province. A year after that, we moved all the way to the United States. One week after we’d landed at Miami International Airport, we packed our bags and headed for Franklin Tennessee, where we stayed for about a year before heading back down to Florida. I spent most of my childhood living in Miami, but every year we bounced around from one house to another, from South Dade to North Dade to Hialeah. By the time I was 21, we had moved to Orlando, which is in Central Florida. Eventually, my parents chose to return to Argentina to live out their retirement. I, of course, had fallen in love with my future spouse and had chosen to stay behind. Not long after that, everything started to change.

Financially things were rough. I couldn’t make ends meet. Then tragedy struck and I lost two people who were very dear to me. No. They weren’t my parents, but they were the next best thing. This forced me to make yet another change. So I moved to New York City, the Bronx to be precise.

I had high hopes that my writing career would pick up. After all, New York is where dreams come true, or so they say. Mine certainly didn’t. The cost of living was high. I’d gotten laid off from two jobs in the four years I was there. Temping wasn’t bringing in the money I needed to pay my rent or my bills. My spouse and I had to move in with his family to avoid ending up homeless.

I knew we couldn’t live with his family forever but I couldn’t see any way of getting back on my feet again. I was left with only one option. Think of it as a wild card, but it was definitely not a card I wanted to use. But what choice did I have?

My family owns several properties in Argentina. My mother was kind enough to offer me my own home. How could I refuse that? Duh! I couldn’t. My spouse was more than willing to move to Argentina. “The house will be ours and no one can kick us out,” he said. He had a point. There was no other choice, but the thought of leaving the United States terrified me.

I left Argentina when I was five years old and I never went back. The United States is my home. I swore an oath to this country when I became a U.S. Citizen. I’ve gone to school here, worked here, made friends here, made enemies here, fell in love here … got married here. This is all I know. I think, I speak, I write, I dream, and I breathe in English. I’m as American as apple pie. Turning my back on the U.S. in order to survive might seem like an easy choice, but I promise you that it’s not.

How will I adapt to laws, customs and food that are alien to me? I don't know, but on June 17th, 2012, I will say goodbye to the United States, quite likely forever, to take on a brand new adventure in Argentina. But first, I need to get ready for the big move, and this is where my journey really begins.

2 comments:

  1. It will be tough, but like everything else, you will learn to adapt. Don't know about Cordoba, but Mendoza is nice. People drink mate one hundred times a day, everything shuts down from one to four and people generally go to sleep the siesta.

    From what I understand, Cordoba is more cosmopolitan and will remind you of San Diego, California. As Americans, we are spoiled. I have found that during my six visits to Argentina, calling the US will cost you mucho bucks, eating meat daily is normal, and electrical appliances will cost you a fortune. But you will be fine.

    Can't wait to continue hearing about your adventures.

    I miss you already. . .

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment. Yes. I've taken the liberty of browsing some of the Argentinian stores websites. The electronics are insanely expensive because of the import taxes.

      Bonus ... my folks told me that there is a Walmart not too far from the house I'll be living in. Let's hope they honor the same low prices down there that we have in the States.

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