Sometimes I wish I would have taken my Spanish teacher’s advise when she told my classmates and I to be aware of falling in love when traveling abroad. At first, I was a bit surprised when she gave us that advise. She went from explaining the most important rules and regulations about living in another country, while using different face expressions and gestures to get her point across, to then talking about love. She calmed down, and slowly told the classroom to stay focus, and avoid falling in love. My Spanish professor had taken a group of college students abroad to different countries annually, and every year there was always someone who fell in love with a native from that country. Although each story she told us of the students who fell in love were like fairytales, I couldn’t help but wonder why she had warn us about falling in love. Her last phrase was, “You guys are going to be there only for three months, so why develop something that will not last.”
My favorite story was about a young lady who fell in love with a Tico, Costa Rican male…
The young lady was eager to travel abroad because it was her first time leaving her country, and she could now do something for herself. She was always helping and taking care of others, but now she wanted to focus on herself. Her main priority was to enhance her Spanish skills, and she thought she would become fluent in the Spanish language because of this trip. Falling in love, was a subject she did not bother worrying about because she had experienced so many heartbreaks at a young age. Although she thought she was extremely prepared for this life changing experience, she was not aware of the surprises that were in store for her. This young lady’s experience abroad was not a walk in the park, and she spent days crying and yearning to return to the United States. Also, she had problems improving her Spanish speaking, adjusting to the culture, and no one in her host family spoke English. She was on the verge on giving up, but her classmates who had accompanied her on the trip, advised her to go out to a local bar with them to relax.
While dancing and finally having fun for once, she locked eyes with a Tico, who had been staring at her for quite some time. He finally approached her and because of the loud music and noise in the background it was hard for them to have a conversation. He pointed to the bar and asked if she wanted a drink. Though she could still barely hear him, she pointed to what he was drinking. After dancing, and trying to develop a conversation he handed her his cellphone and she stored her number in. She went home with her friends, and for the first time she was happy.
The Tico called her host families’ home the next day, and to her surprise he only spoke Spanish, and he could not understand what she was saying. For a few days they had friends translate what they wanted to say to each other, then all of a sudden they did not need any translation because they somehow learn to understand each other. The young lady’s Spanish had improved, she developed new friendships with some of the locals, and she began to travel and learn more about the country. Although it was difficult for her now boyfriend to learn English, they spoke only in Spanish, which benefited them both. Unfortunately, after three long months it was time to say goodbye, and the two loved birds had to choose between developing a long distance relationship, or having a hole in their hearts because they knew they could never find anyone else to fill that area in their hearts.
I remember my teacher getting a little teary-eyed after telling this story, but she told us that the two still keep in contact with each other, but she was not sure of their relationship status. However, the young lovers from the other stories that she told us about were now married with kids, or the once Study Abroad students now lives in the country that he or she once traveled to be with their lover.
The Tico story is my favorite because it gives hope to any relationship, and it allows young individuals to discover their lives before they start to create a new life with someone else. The young lady in the story went to a country trying to change and better herself, and that it exactly what she did, but with a little help. I think my teacher gave us the advise of not falling in love because she wanted to make sure that we had the chance to learn about another country and its culture, in order for us to be able to find our paths in life. Some could argue that sometimes love helps us to find our path in life.
My advice for any one who decides to travel, is that love conquers all. If you do not fall in love with an individual when traveling, then you will fall in love with a particular place, or food, or even the scenery and smell of the country. It is going to stay with you forever, and only you have the power to let it stay in a particular place in your heart, you could continue to visit that area, or try to create those cherish moments in all of your travels.