It all started when I found out I was moving to Florida while I was living in Brooklyn, New York. This was about three years ago, I was only twelve; I didn’t know what was Florida, what it looked like, or even where it was located on a map. When I found out, I was pretty much unbiased, because I thought we could continue our lives as usual when we were moving from apartment to apartment. Our future turned out to be completely unexpected.
I am the sister with two siblings; I have a sister two years older than me, and a brother eight years younger than me. At the time, I observed everybody in my family. I saw that my father was pacifistic with moving; he mentioned some advantages like being healthier in a better environment, and disadvantages like being able to go out to bars or coming home late. My mother was committed, although she knew she was going to miss her friends, she was going to have a second chance at fixing her relationship with my father. On the other hand, my sister was more on the negative side. She didn’t want to leave her friends, she loved living the New York life, and most of all she knew it wasn’t going to be the same.
We set off on July 18, 2005, real early, in our red mini-van. Many of my father’s relatives were coming along with us on this trip. Our van was overloaded with all of our belongings, yet there was still equipment packed left behind. I remember my father saying: “close your eyes, leave possessions behind, and just view this as a new beginning.” From there on, I feared us arriving at a remote place.
As we passed through the Holland tunnel to reach New Jersey, the first state of our journey, I reminisced all the good and bad times in New York with family and friends. Through the next states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia, I was comfortable with pillows around me like a duckling in its nest, but was continuously awakened by my 4 year old brother’s interminable and hysterical cries. On the highways of Virginia, my father was getting infuriated with his cousin for speeding; this was a problem because our father cared about everyone on board and didn’t want our lives at any risk.
We reached North Carolina at midnight. We checked into The Ramada Hotel, and left early the next morning. As we traveled down south, I recall seeing something that completely took my eye. On the highway, I could see a showery weather ahead, it amazed me because quickly as we went in, about thirty seconds after, the rain completely stopped, and it was bright and sunny with not a single drop of rain. It felt like entering a new world.
Passing through South Carolina, and then Georgia, we saw a sign that said “Welcome to Florida”, everyone clapped to show appreciation for the end of this long journey. When we reached our new home; July 19, 2005 at midnight, I thought it was the Dominican Republic. It seemed tropical and quiet. I knew then this was really an ending to a new beginning.
From this journey, I have discovered many new parts of my personality. I have learned that it is not easy leaving a life so accustomed, to try and adapt to a complete opposite. It was worth for my parents’ happiness, but I have realized this is not where my life corresponds. My life and my heart will always belong in New York.
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