If light is in your heart, you will find your way home ~ Rumi
Two weeks ago, with a one-way ticket scanned on my cell phone, I left the country wherein I’d spent my entire life. Boarding a plane to the place whose soil bears the birth and bloodstains of my ancestors, I returned to the motherland.
This is my story.
Around The World
Childhood is fallacious. Taught to dream big and aspire to the highest ideals, life’s realities are too harsh for a kid to understand.
As a little girl, I wanted to be a pilot. I was going to travel and see the world. A decade later, snagging a few hours of single-engine time, I was on my way. Or so I thought I was.
In college, my family’s financial circumstances changed and since I refused to consider a military route to pay for my flight courses, I switched programs, graduating with a management degree. Choosing a career in banking, my life took a different path.
I don’t blame anyone for that detour. My decisions were (and remain) solely my responsibility. Besides, I have trekked to over 30 countries on five continents. That’s not exactly around the world, but at least it’s a potpourri of places my senses have devoured.
From Cairo to İstanbul, Bogotá to Buenos Aires, Akureyri to Arusha, my eyes have basked in the wonder of mesmerizing landscapes and my soul nourished by the beauty of diverse cultures.
On a subconscious level, I’m convinced that each of these experiences helped nurture my heart’s desire to return home.
A Forsaken Duality
When folks ask me where I’m from, I always say I’m Boricua from New York City. Sometimes an explanation is needed (Boricua comes from Borikén, our Indigenous name). Depending on whom I’m speaking with, further details might be offered — “it means I’m Puerto…