Dear the United States of America,
I recently found myself in another country, faraway, where your flag does not fly. Every day of this journey I was a recipient of extreme culture shock. While it was great to learn about myself on this venture, I could not wait to be heading home, back to what I know and love. For once in my life, I felt like “the outsider.”
How crazy it was to live out each day in a reality in which I consistently questioned what my rights were, and where my comforting familiarity was. It really is another world out there, where freedom comes in different forms and opportunity lacks the American Dream. I am writing this to you on my return flight home, attempting to navigate the flying process without English subtitles, and listening to my favorite country artist, Dierks Bentley. Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less than the perfect timing for Home to play, my favorite song, on repeat. “West, on a plane bound West, I see her stretching out below.”
Walking through that foreign airport sporting my United States passport and my American flag phone case, nothing could make me more proud than knowing I was heading home. You are where my future flourishes, where I see myself working for (and landing) my dream career, and one day raising a family. Nowhere else could I envision such an ideal life.
Despite this, within the heaps of international travelers representing cultures all over the world, I admit I was a little overwhelmed, thinking that I don’t want to lose sight of who we are. The many languages, appearances, and beliefs all define nations’ cultures, but you America, foster all of them. You go far beyond this ideal; you encourage a celebration of world heritage with the unique American tweak. You have overcome obstacles, moving on but never forgetting our scars. We’re not the same, but that’s what makes us strong.
All I know is, you’ve raised and shaped me into an informed citizen. It is my duty to give back what you have given me – opportunity. I love your politics, I love exploring your beautiful landscape, and I wish to combine my passions and interests to give these same experiences to people all over the nation. And I won’t let you down.
From building homes in an impoverished nation, to venturing through homes of an advanced one, only time will tell where you will lead me. It is no doubt difficult to continuously maintain such a powerful identity in this globalizing world, but I hold on to the things I believe in, my faith, your love, our freedom.
At the end of the day, I will be back in my bed, sleeping safely knowing that tomorrow is what I want to make it. At the end of the day, our differences and arguments mean little to nothing –for this is still the place we all call home.
P.S. Put those boots on: