Dec 30, 2016
By Kateryna Voloshyna
I have found my Freedom in the United States
I have never ever been there but I feel that I have traveled every corner of this beautiful country with Jack Kerouac’s Dean Moriarty, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Wolfe’s Merry Pranksters.
My journey to the USA has started a long time ago when I was at the Middle school (Ukrainian 8th grade). There were three girls from the Lee University, TN that came to Ukraine for a few weeks to study abroad and to teach children English. I remember that before them I hated English, because of my strict school teacher who was a brilliant interpreter in the past but lousy pedagogue in the present. At first, I was afraid to go to these extra lessons, to speak English, but I quickly became a fan of it.
I believe it was these girls, simple American students who gave me an understanding that it is ok to make mistakes, to be different, to think different, and do not afraid of it.
With them, I began my journey to the USA.
I’ve never been in the America but I still feel the impression of it in my heart and the sweet taste in my mouth.
I have this tiny warm feeling like during the last school day before the summer holidays when you sit at your desk but already feel the juicy green grass under your feet, an old maple tree above your head and the endless road that is passing near the red old barn at the horizon.
These lessons, my love to American culture since I was a teenage girl, amazing literature written by the strong writers who were not afraid to tell true stories, even the TV shows about three independent witches or teens’ problems in Beverly Hills, I think they raised my character too.
Without all this experience behind my shoulders, I would never dare to work as an interpreter at the dating agency, right after getting my MA in history, and after that, I would never think about me as a journalist. Without this spiritual travel, I would never start traveling, and would never take a risk to travel across the world all by myself.
I have received my freedom because of the USA, not just my financial freedom, which give me an opportunity to travel abroad even while I am living in Ukraine, I have earned my inner independence and understanding that I am unique and strong even though I am female, I have my voice.
Every year in fall I cross stitch the new scary pumpkin for Halloween, imagining how it must be beautiful this time in Massachusetts. I re-read Nathaniel Hawthorne and think about the house of the seven gables in Salem.
In winter I admire “Twas The Night Before Christmas” poem and dream about sunny Florida, where are, according to one of these girls from Lee University, too many crocodiles.
I listen “If you are going to San Francisco” every spring till I am hitting the road, and look at Zion National Park pictures during the summer.
And now, in my present, even though I grew up, changed my style, hobbies, dreams, I still feel the part of my soul is somewhere in the USA. It is free and probably flying somewhere with the wild eagles.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Independence 2016 Travel Writing Award and tell your story.
About the Author
I am 29 years old Ukrainian philosopher, hitchhiker, traveler, and dreamer. I work as a copywriter. I do love to read, and proud of my 70 books per year. I am a teacher of history and philosophy by my education, but I have never worked in school, even though I do love kids. In my free time, I love to write, cross-stitch, and learn something new.