Given the nature of this blog I don’t want to say exactly where I live, but I can say it’s a pretty diverse place. There are people from literally all over the world here, yet on the outside my hometown looks like your average homogenous suburb. I’ve mentioned a bit about traveling here on my daily blog so far, it’s one of my greatest passions and I hope to do so much more of it before I die. There’s no greater simple pleasure in my life than the feeling of being in motion. Trains, buses, foreign mini-buses (especially the ones I encountered in Lima, Peru) that seemingly don’t abide by any road laws, motor-taxis, planes—even running, but especially walking these days. I love driving too. I could drive in circles for hours with the radio on and not get bored (surprisingly). Oh and I forgot ferries, and just all kinds of water vehicles for that matter . . .
The reason why I’m saying all this is because though I’m not some sort of incredibly well travelled young person that has already been all over the world before my mid-twenties (these people exist, I’ve met them), I’ve spent something like 8 months of my life in total living somewhere other than the U.S. and I can say I never truly appreciated the diversity of my hometown and the U.S. in general before I left the U.S. for a while and then came back. THERE ARE PEOPLE FROM LITERALLY EVERYWHERE HERE. And yes obviously with globalization that’s the trend everywhere, but still so many parts of the world are overwhelmingly dominated by one ethnic background. There’s a wonderful amount of comfort I find in diversity that I thoroughly missed while away. It’s something that I think really goes unnoticed by the average American.
My deeper point here is that the hardest thing to ever come to know in life is the thing that’s been right in front of you this whole time (or in this case my whole life). You only ever get to experience something for the first time once. For this reason fresh eyes and new perspective are some of the hardest things to come by, but also some of the most valuable.
I’ll never forget attending a U.S. versus Peru soccer friendly in D.C. not long after first having been exposed to other parts of the world. I’ll never forget the awe I felt at seeing a stadium half full of Peruvian fans all wearing their home country’s colors. I remember thinking wow how many different countries could fill a stadium in the U.S. with Country-X American fans? What an amazing place to live!