First Generation

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This topic has been heavy on my heart for the past couple of days as I am thinking about my departure from Italy and getting ready to see my family for the first time after 1 year. I wanted to write this post to talk about my thoughts as a first generation American living in Italy.

As many of you know from this previous post, my parents are originally from El Salvador which makes my siblings and I first generation Americans. Having grown up culturally different and with different languages than my parents did, this was something I struggled with and felt was a barrier to being as close to my parents as I would have liked. Being older now, our relationship has certainly improved throughout the years. Of course, I grew up speaking the same language as them and I am grateful to have been raised bilingual as this was part of the reason why I got hired for many of the positions I had over the last 10 years.

As mentioned above, I am quickly approaching the end of my first year in Italy. As I’m getting ready to head back to the states in less than 2 weeks, I have gotten questions about my departure and why I’m leaving. And well, the answer is… the year that I wanted to spend here is up. After a year of being away from my family, I think it’s time to go back.

I think about my parents courage of leaving their home country 35 years ago with the intention of never returning. Leaving their home, jobs, family, and their whole lives behind. Having now experienced what it’s like to live in a different country, as much as I love Italy, I don’t think I can call this place “home” forever as they have done in the United States. Their bravery far exceeds mine tenfold. What I have done by coming here, is nothing compared to the sacrifice and risks they took to create a life in a completely new country forever, as many immigrants and expats in the United States and other countries have also done.

Now being in Italy as a first generation American, I think about those sacrifices that they made for our family. All they did to get to the United States and to create their first “nest” for us in New York only for me to flee the country after 27 years, the country they worked so hard to call home for all of us. A part of me feels guilty, a bit irresponsible, and selfish to have left. It would be a lie to say I didn’t.

Growing up first generation also means getting the best of both worlds. Living life like an American but still enjoying the Salvadorian food, culture, music, and the list goes on. I was fortunate enough to visit El Salvador 7 years ago with my mother, her first visit since she left in 1982. This being my first time traveling outside the United States, it definitely sparked my interest in travel and opened my eyes to a whole new way of living in a different country.

I hope that if and when I do return to Italy, my parents can also enjoy la dolce vita along with me.

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Pictured here with 3 out of 7 siblings and my mom

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it” George Moore

All my love,
Estrella

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23 thoughts on “First Generation

  1. Sofie says:

    I loved reading your story Estrella. I don’t think it’s selfish at all, I think your parents left everything to give their future kids the best life and opportunities that would present themselves, and you took advantage! You took advantage of seeing the world and getting inspired by the unknown. You LIVED. And not if, but you WILL be back πŸ™‚ XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • lacasabloga says:

      Thanks Sofie. Yeah I just have a hard time of wrapping my brain around that but you are right. We can’t feel bad about decisions we made and how they affect everyone else. We have to live life for us at the end of the day.

      Like

  2. TheFallibleQueen says:

    That’s definitely courage, I understand completely though. Moving five and a half hours from home was a bit hard for me so I can only imagine a country a way. My parents immigrated from Africa, so I am first generation as well, I’m so thankful for their sacrifice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello, my lovely:-))) Before you leave Rome could we present you with a humble request by the neighbors: Could you cook for us some pupusa:-)))) l

    Liked by 1 person

  4. coatandcoffee says:

    Aww good luck on your journey home! I totally get wanting to go back home. I love traveling, and I would love to live abroad or own a house abroad, but I think my home will always be my home. I am super close with my family and I would miss them too much. I am so excited for you! Let me know if you ever find yourself in Arizona, or even in California. We could always meet up. πŸ™‚

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • lacasabloga says:

      Hey Emily! Yes, you see how it’s both a blessing and a curse being all the way over here. Somedays I’m okay with it and other days I feel like I should be closer to home. I actually plan on coming to California early August. Do you have any plans to visit around that time?

      Like

  5. Funmi says:

    This is indeed a beautiful post.

    You shouldn’t feel selfish at all. It really is a privilege to have our parents make decisions in our best interest. Even before we were born, they had us in mind. They knew that some decision will create better opportunities for their offspring. It’ll be wrong if we don’t take such opportunities.

    You’re doing right, and I’m sure they’re proud.

    Funmi x
    http://www.funmialabi.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    • lacasabloga says:

      Thank you- looking at it from that point of view, you are right. I’m sure what’s most important to them is to see their children succeed and create a life of fulfillment, no matter where that happens to be.

      Like

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