Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

My family and I returned from our trip to El Salvador a couple weeks ago. I am still trying to recover in various ways.

Though this was overall a happy experience which I don’t regret for a second, it did cause some confusion in me.

There were problems on the first day with my mother, which Tracy already explained on her blog. It goes without saying that this is a difficult thing for me and it’s something that will be an on-going problem. Regardless of the situation with my mother, the trip was emotional in other ways.

For the first few days I felt that I didn’t belong there – that I wasn’t Salvadoran anymore because I didn’t understand how things worked. I’ve lost some of my Salvadoran accent, and somehow, even when Tracy wasn’t with me, people seemed to treat me as a tourist.

After the first week I broke through all that. I felt like I fell into the rhythm of my country. I felt more confident in my actions. I knew where to buy what I needed at good prices and how to get there. I picked up on new slang and incorporated it into my vocabulary. I spent hours talking with my old best friend, reminiscing about old times and creating new memories – our two families together – our kids hanging out the way we hung out when we were their age. I felt proud to show my country to my children – and prouder still that they loved it.

I felt Salvadoran – not like a visitor. But with that new happiness came new problems. Now I felt as if I didn’t want to return to the United States.

Of course the day came when we had to go to the airport and get on the flight. I was surprised that Tracy and the boys were going through a similar mix of feelings. I hugged my best friend goodbye and we both pretended to be stronger than we felt. As the plane lifted off, taking me back to the land of my wife and children, back to my adopted country, back to our house and all its responsibilities, back to work and reality in general, I cried – all of us did.

Once back in the United States, I went through a period of readjustment which still isn’t quite over. Sometimes I feel depressed and nostalgic. At other times I feel thankful, blessed and guilty. I call my best friend daily. He wishes he could live in the United States – wishes he could work in a job that paid him even half of what I make per hour. He wishes he lived in a house on a quiet suburban street like I do, instead of in Soyapango where thieves have broken in and gangs have tagged his home with graffiti. He wishes his son, who is only a little older than my oldest son, had all the opportunities my kids have.

It’s difficult to feel like I belong in two places at once, but that I don’t wholly belong to either.

In two weeks we’re traveling back to El Salvador for the first time in over a decade. There are a lot of things I’ve missed. Here are some of the things I’m most looking forward to:

#5. oysters

(Image source: bocadorada)

#4. flying in an airplane

(Image source: treehead)

#3. my childhood home

(Image source: clarkefreak) - Not my actual house, but similar.

#2. street food (especially pupusas)

(Image source: ceasol)

#1. showing my boys all I can of their roots in 12 days

(Image source: damejiar)

Photos From Miami

Posted: May 3, 2011 in photography, travel

These are the photos I took in Miami. It was my first time there. I took a bike to South Beach from Miami Beach and took the photos with my cell phone camera. I don’t have a real camera yet and never took photography classes but I think this might be a good hobby for me.

Which photo do you like best? How do you think I could improve?

(The ride home.)

Why I’m Blogging

Posted: May 2, 2011 in El Salvador, personal, travel

Recently on a trip to Miami with my wife, I realized that I’m not reaching my full potential. My wife had been invited to Miami on business and I had only tagged along. While I’m proud of and happy for everything she is achieving, I couldn’t help but feel that in comparison, I’m going no where.

My wife encouraged me to start trying new things to see what happens. A few of the things I’m trying are:

• Blogging
• Social Media
• Practicing my English, (my wife is helping me compose this because my English reading and writing still aren’t great.)
• Photography
• Lifting weights

Since coming to the United States from El Salvador 15 years ago, I met and married a gringa, had two kids and have done a good job of taking care of them. At the same time, I haven’t done a great job of taking care of myself. I don’t regret the sacrifices I’ve made, but I’m ready to grow as an individual. Sometimes the “No soy de aquí, ni soy de allá” – (I’m not from here, neither from there), feeling which is common in immigrants is difficult for me to deal with – but I’m tired of using that as an excuse to not explore the possibilities that are out there.

So thanks for checking out my blog… Let’s see what happens.