This is Tiff. We've been friends for ages, ever since we started working together in my first ever office job. We have the same humor and bonded over cracking jokes over IM even when we were sitting close enough to whisper to each other, and even though time and distance have separated us, barely a work day goes by without some random email trail between the two of us. She writes about her thoughts and her progress towards becoming a novelist over here. (Go show her some love!) But she also has a touch of wanderlust herself, and wrote a post about a recent trip to Puerto Rico.
Now that vacation season is here, I’m sure the question “where can I go that is different from my day to
day, but not too out there?” has crossed your mind. I know it has for me. Unfortunately, I know people
who don’t believe in traveling outside of their city or want to see anything new. Personally, I believe
these people shouldn’t be able to open their mouths and work everyday of the year while the rest of
us travel. Anyways, I think that where ever you go, I think this is a chance to see what else is out there,
which will hopefully make you realize that you really do have a lot and appreciate what you have.
Last year, I went to Puerto Rico with the family and although, it is a part of the United States, it is not
a part of the United States. It’s like going to another country. I remember complaining nonstop the
whole time I was there, but once my plane landed in Michigan at the end, I began to really appreciate
everything that I seem to take for grant here. According to some of the residents there, we would be
considered wealthy, while here, we consider anyone who makes under $40 grand a year is struggling.
First of all, there, if you don't speak the language, then you are S.O.L.! Every time we asked if the
person helping us spoke English, the person would laugh at us, turn to the person standing next to them
and speak in Spanish and turn back to us to say that they would find someone to help. This experience
definitely humbled me. When you think about it, we do the same thing. We talk down to the non-
English speaker when we really shouldn't.
Coming from Michigan, one would say that Puerto Rico is a very poor "country", but I would have to
disagree. Yes, their buildings may not tall and glorious looking like the ones found here, but they seem
to be a lot sturdier than many of the ones that are found here. I found that Puerto Ricans have so much
pride in their small country and more often than not, this made up for everything else. Coming from a
place where we are in such a hurry to get place to place, I feel like sometimes we don't really enjoy the
trip or destination. There, though, they drive like crazy people, but once they get to their destination,
they seem to relax and enjoy themselves. Let me just say that despite how crazy people drive here, it
could be worse.
At the end of the day, we have come a long way, but still are a little stunted in the way we do things. So
I wonder, could we learn from this tiny territory? Yeah, they have everything that we do, but the way of
life is a little different, slower. Well, as long as they aren't driving! Could that simplistic lifestyle be what
we really need in our society where our status is determined on what we have, rather than who we are?
The point is, at the end of it all, I definitely appreciate what I have here, but there is no way I would ever
knock their way of life.