Travel Journey : #1 Back to the U.S

May 18, 2017

Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay
I was initially born in New York where my parents met each other. My mum was from France and came to New York to travel and learn english. And my dad grew up in NYC. My grand parents are actually from Latin American.

After my birth my parents stayed for a year in New York with me until my dad was given an opportunity to work in Belgium. He agreed and that's how we moved to Belgium when I was little. and 1 year later my little brother was born.

Belgium is my home. I grew up there, made my closest friends and my best memories.

Unfortunately as we moved in Belgium life happenned and over time I didn't speak english quite often at home as we spoke exclusively french and my parents divorced.

I didn't learn Spanish neither even though Spanish was my dad's mothertongue.

Like a lot of mixed kid everybody around me was either fascinating by how I looked or would ask me "What are you ?".

I didn't either fit in easily because I wasn't really sure where I belonged. Sometimes feeling like a fraud because of my lack of vocabulary and grammar level in english. And my lack of knowledge of Spanish. Often people would assume that I spoke spanish. And so I would end up apologizing for myself.

In winter I have the light skin of my mum in opposite of the brown skin look similar to my dad that I get in summer. My brother even heritated of the grey/green/blue eyes of my mum. So as you can see in a world where we label everybody we were kind of screwed ! (lol)

Growing up, I had a lot of mixed friends from Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Congo, Grece, Spain, Poland  because in Belgium they were also the ones who struggled with the same cultural uprooting issue than me. Feeling like a foreigner wherever you go.

Anyaways looking back I think that not being able to fit anywhere was a blessing for me. Because you get to be who ever you feel like and gave me an open mind and a curiosity about other cultures and people in general. But of course growing up I didn't understood it like that.

I feel we shouldn't be labelled by our appereances because we are all coming from a mix of different cultures and origins. We are infinite human beings. Countries where brought up from the imagination of humans. But in reality we come from the same Earth with all our uniqueness. Culture is great but sometimes it can become your label in which you can feel stuck in. But I feel also that it's wonderful to be able to know where you come from because we all need roots like trees to stay grounded.

I understood that who I am is some of this family heritage that I have all together in me.
The way I speak in english tells my story. How I look tells a bit of my story. For me not knowing a lot about my dad's story and culture kind of made me feel that something was missing.

I am very close to my french side, grew up with a big family with whom I had the chance to bond with and know it's history. I met my great grand-father before he died and it was a blessing even though I was little I remember him.

So last time I was in the US I was really little (about 8). And because of personal stuff I wasn't able to go back since.

Beginning my travel journey by the US is not only my starting point on descovering the world but it's also getting back in touch with where I came from, where I was born and where my parents, and grand parents lived. And maybe from there I will be going to Latin America where it all started on the footsteps of this part of my cultural heritage. I'm not sure what is waiting for me but I've always been passionnate about genealogy. And something in me feels right so figure I might trust that feeling and go with it.

#First stop : Maine | #First experience : Working in a summer camp

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