Chronicle – Sara Salavati: ”A Surreal Reality Across the Atlantic Ocean”

24 januari, 2019, 13:47 International, Krönika, Maxa studierna Lämna en kommentar

”Hollywood was only a dream“ – is how a chapter ends in an autobiography about Marilyn Monroe. I remember how hard I thought about this simple line. I understood its content, although I never fully grasped its context – of what it meant to be in a reality one had heard of but personally never experienced.

I remember when I was between seven and eight years old; I received a card from a friend who went to this far away land, to see this huge waterfall. Since I had never witnessed one myself I remember picturing it from what I had seen on television. This friend had also visited a city whose name sounded like Totoro. I found it funny.

Although, I was curious of this far away land; crossing the Atlantic Ocean was never on my bucket list because it felt too far away from friends and family. In addition, no friend of mine was curious enough of this far away land – myself included.

Then the day came, when I had to submit my application for doing an exchange semester. ”Somewhere in Europe” – was my prior thought. I wanted to be close to home, in case if I had nowhere to live, would not have made any friends and had failed all my courses. Besides, since neither of my parents supported the idea of studying abroad – I needed to be close so at least the Erasmus scholarship would be.

However, my program did not offer any exchange within Europe. Instead, my options were: North America, China and Singapore. I remember being conflicted as hell – they all were far away.

The day at Arlanda my parents stayed with me for a little while before I went through my gate – they usually never did. When we finally had to make our goodbyes, it felt like I was going to my own execution, which it was in a way – here I was leaving everything for a place I had never been to. I hugged my father: ”Good luck my daughter.” I hugged my mother – nothing. When I stepped out of our hug I saw the load of tears coming down her cheeks. That is when it fully hit me – I was going to be far away.

While being in the land of maple syrup – I started to realize how little I actually knew about this place, and how I would have lived with this ignorance if not having taken this opportunity. All the amazing people I met during my exchange would have not existed to me – neither in reality or in my head. So, I am grateful and happy that I decided to challenge the idea of not doing an exchange closer to home – I discovered something better.

Canada was never a dream – it turned into one.

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Sara Salavati

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