One's destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things. -Henry Miller

An American Girl in Spain

Being an American girl in Spain is an interesting experience. And by that I mean that there is a whole load of stereotypes that accompany the word “American” combined with being a female. I really hate to say this, but sometimes, it pains me to hear other people call me an American because I feel like there is a harsh judgment associated with this. Men have a tendency to be um…very forward with me when they realize I am not fluent in Spanish. I think there is also an assumption that I am loud or spoiled. Not everyone thinks this, but there are a lot of people who participate in this stereotype.

Having these feelings is part of the reason that I wanted to have this experience. As some of you know, I have an interest in working with immigrant populations in America. Until I came here, I knew very little about what it must feel like to be in their shoes.  I am obviously very blessed in this scenario…I have a program that has helped walk me through everything I need and I have great job.

However, now I get what it feels like to not have your family close by. To not put your thoughts into words because of language barriers. To miss your culture. To apply for a residency card at the immigration office. To feel like someone else is stereotyping you based on your nationality.

I love Spain…it’s so beautiful and 99% of the people I meet are warm and kind.  But, I am grateful for a chance to feel like not everything is easy and not everything is handed to me. As my blog says, “One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.”

Please help me remember this new perspective when I return to the U.S.A and all that is comfortable.

This is a picture from a gallery I visited in San Diego, CA a few years ago. A good reminder that behind the label of "immigrant" is a real person.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s