It has been over a month since I packed my bags and moved to Saint Louis in order to pursue my education. Anyone who knows me knows I barely ever leave the house unless under dire circumstances. So for a person like me, to move to another state in a different country is a very drastic change.
My new home has a lot less furniture and a lot more books, more than half of which are not mine and belong to my roommate. The house is much smaller and much quieter without the constant vehicular noise and my mother’s constant chatter. The soft hum of the air conditioner and the occasional siren now replace those sounds. Blinds have taken the place of curtains. A twin bed is now in place of the queen bed that I used to share with my sister back home. Drawers and closets have substituted the cupboards. My only means of transportation is the public transportation and my feet, of course. Gone are the days when I had the luxury of getting dropped off via a private vehicle. My shoe collection has been reduced to a single number here, a drastic decrease in the number of choices of footwear.
I have never lived outside of my hometown and my native place for more than a week. It has been a long process of getting used to living in a new environment, far away from friends and family, but not too far thanks to technology.
What I have realized so far about living here is that I hate having to remember whether or not I have to pull the door to enter or push to enter. I love that there is a system, and I hate the fact that I can never remember said system. I also dislike the weather here, but I have to deal with it. It’s too dry and the sun rays feel like they’re burning my skin. Secondly, the rain is not predictable. Let me rephrase that. I have not been able to predict the rain yet. Two times now my ballet flats have gotten drenched due to the rain and my lack of being able to predict it. I have realized that this place is a very God-loving community. It is really amazing to see the faith and be a part of a large community of believers.
In over a month of being in Saint Louis, I have tried the gooey butter cake, Imo’s Pizza, gone to the science center, gone apple picking, gone to the Festival of Nations, gone to the Balloon Glow festival, gone grocery shopping multiple times, along with going to class and juggling my readings and homework assignments. In short, it has definitely been an eventful month with a lot of multitasking, canceling, and managing to attend events on and off campus.
I am living with the bare minimum requirements. Like Baloo in ‘The Jungle Book’ *singing*
“Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life”
It has definitely shown me that I don’t require a lot of things. That all that I need might just fit into two large suitcases, which are more than half my size. That, as Baloo and Gandhi said, you only need the bare necessities and nature provides you with them.
Moving to Saint Louis has made me get out of my comfort zone. I was so used to living with my family, with everyone I know a maximum of an hours distance away. I most certainly recommend you to travel to a new city all alone, be it as a part of an exchange program, a study abroad program, or as a part of your work. You will rediscover your likes and dislikes while exploring and learning about a new place all at the same time.
So pack your bags, try and fit everything that you will need into a suitcase or two, and also be aware of the baggage limit. Create a list of things to do, and most importantly, have fun! You only live once, so make the best of it and start checking places off the travel list.