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What it’s Like to Leave Your Home Country

The Holidays are coming up, and there is no other time I would like more to share how much I miss the place I grew up at. Without my city and my people, I would have never been the sassy Venezuelan that I am today. I know that multiple International students feel the way I do, because leaving your home country is extremely hard.

When I was 17, I had to make the hard decision of packing my life in a couple of suitcases, and move to the other side of the continent. I was excited for a new adventure, and the bright future that was promised to me, but I never realized how hard it would be in the long run. I come from a place where people are kind, hard working, extremely funny, and incredibly helpful. They will start a conversation with any stranger, and be willing to help you on the spot with ANYTHING you need; Venezuelan’s know what’s up. I come from a place where there are mountains, deserts, forests, snow, and where the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world decided to make a living. I was lucky enough to visit all of those places, and I can assure you nothing compares. The amount of effort God put in my Country makes me want to run to Church every single day to thank Him over and over again for letting me grow up there.

I left everything behind for a better future, and a life that promised me a safe environment and a great job (hopefully), but, I still cry myself to sleep some nights, and I spend way too much money on my phone bill in order to tell my best friends and soulmates what is going on in my life, because believe it or not, regardless of the distance, they are always the first people I want to tell all the good and the bad news to. I had an amazing childhood, full of laughter and parties at my grandma’s house. I grew up full of love, adventure, family, and friendships that will last a lifetime. The memories cheer me up even on the saddest of days.

During the Holidays I always get a little more nostalgic than usual. I miss the food, the dancing, the laughter, partying until the sun rises, the fireworks, and the feel that I was home. Leaving your country makes you automatically a citizen of the world. When you are a citizen of the world, you lack that feeling everyone gets when they visit their childhood home. I haven’t felt home for over three years, but I am getting there. Living here is never going to be the same, but everything I am doing is to make my family and friends from home as proud as I possibly can. I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than standing up one day when all this is worth it and say, “My name is Anacorina Velasco, and I am from Caracas, Venezuela.” I am more than proud of how far I’ve come, and being an immigrant is never going to make me any less.

Thank you, Venezuela, for being the most amazing country to grow up in, and for shaping the woman I am today… Oh! And, for the sexy accent, too!


Anacorina Velasco, better known as Cora, is a passionate international student at Winona State University. She flew all the way from Venezuela to make some lemonade with the lemons life gave her. You can find her giving campus tours, at the Football field trying to convince the Coaches to let her play, or running around between the security office and her Zumba classes. Cora enjoys a good shot of Espresso, a book that can make her cry, and watching Disney movies, repeatedly.   
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