Have you ever traveled within your own country just to find out that every single place you visit has its own norms? Imagine how it feels to fly thousands and thousands of miles away from home.
At first, when you travel abroad, especially for the first time, you tend to forget some aspects that play a major role in your life. Things such as the food or even the way you communicate in the country you are visiting tend to be overlooked as the excitement clouds your judgment.
When I first arrived to Italy, I was looking forward to all the Italian I could learn (considering the fact that I know Spanish and they seemed fairly similar), all the pasta and pizza I could eat, and the beautiful landmarks I would see in online pictures.
To my surprise all of this was a much nicer thought than its actual outcome…
Coming from a Hispanic background I’m very used to eating meals that usually include green plantains or french fries, white rice, black beans and any type of white or red meat.
However, being abroad for a month showed me that there is more to dining than just what I am accustomed to eating back home.
While in Italy I was able to eat so many different types of pastas!
Things such as a mix of pastas from a trattoria (a place less formal than a restaurant similar to a cafeteria)
To fancy restaurants:
And even pizza:
I had a little bit of everything and to some extent, I was loving it… but I soon realized that I was missing home.
And as the weeks passed by I was feeling more and more homesick… Especially concerning my usual Latin cuisine.
So what do I recommend and what did I do?
I went to my local supermarket and tried to buy as many things as I could to make a similar dish from back home.
Being in Italy showed me that at times we take for granted our own traditions and customs. I realized that I was only able to embrace a different culture because I loved mine so much. I was able to learn how people from other countries live and I had the opportunity to share my customs while abroad too.