Three months ago I decided to stay in Ecuador to follow one of my dreams. My mom and I are from Puerto Rico and my dad from Ecuador, whom don't know me. I also wanted to have time with my grandparents for more than a couple of weeks, I felt the necessity in my heart to know more about my roots, more about my father's culture and traditions. I didn't feel completely inside my heart and the idea to move here was around me since one year ago. I bought a ticket to come to Ecuador the past January with the intention to stay only one month. The ticket was for February 4 to 27 but after 2 weeks in this country, that feeling that was with me during the last year, came again and I took the decision to stay and get a double citizenship given my Ecuadorian roots.
I have been here since February and as it happened me the last year living in US, the first months are easy but once the time goes, you could face the differentiation between your culture and the country you're residing. The language no matter if is the same or not, always is different. As you know, North America English isn't the same than British English, Brazil Portuguese isn't the same than Portugal, the same happens with Spanish. A funny anecdote, one time I was playing pool with my uncle and I made a crazy shot and I said: "I had lucky", but lucky in a particular way that puerto ricans say it but for my uncle's ears I said "I had a vagina", because the particular name that we use for lucky in Puerto Rico, in Ecuador means that part of the woman body. Another issue, Food traditions! the food could give you problems if you aren't familiar with them. Example, if you go to visit a familiar and they are eating, they will give you food and you can't denied to eat or just prepare to have big problems. Imagine you got to your uncle's house and they are eating strange things for you like guinea pigs, an animal that I look like a pretty domestic animal, I know, they look like a large big rat but for me they are cute and I don't want to eat them or at least avoid it. In my country a soup is served as a regular food meanwhile here is served as an appetizer for the lunch, so in my brain eating soup with something aside(bread, plantain ships, veggies) is enough for my stomach BUT here I have to make an effort to eat soup and lunch.
There are commons things such as the basic Spanish's words, the food is familiar with my taste, the weather is almost the same, more fresh here than Puerto Rico, Although no matter how similar it can be to your country, you always will miss talking with someone of your homeland, have a good coffee with your best friend or play Dominos with your family(tradition in Puerto Rico). There are a lot of differences that I have realized and I have faced during these months. If you go to another country to live just be careful how you express your feelings, be humble to admit your errors, talk frequently with your family and old friends because they will remember that you're not alone, and don't try to compare where you are living with your homeland, it will be something normal for your brain but for the people who are listening you, they could think that you're criticizing. Remember you are going to places where they use to do things as they have done for years, trying to change their minds is very difficult, no matter whether the change is good for them, a lot of times they will see you as a bad person and you will begin to have problems.
It isn't easy make a big change in your life, but I know every experience I'm getting here is preparing me for something great. Just try to push yourself out of your comfort zone and you will realize there are beautiful things out there and when you lose your path just pray and have faith that everything will be alright.