“The Spanish girl” – that would be my name the first year in a British school when I moved from Madrid to London. This journey made me face the numerous challenges of learning English and adapting to a new culture. My days in school would be a combination of mockery and alienation, which consumed me. No one knew me, I had to recreate my personality, redefine myself; it was a chance to start over and be anyone I wanted. However, having been forced to move, I was not ready to do so and I failed to overcome the cultural-social barriers.
Nevertheless, my experiences as a minority lead to my self-discovery. There are certain things in life that we take for granted, like the ability to speak, express ourselves and be heard; it is only when we do not have them that we learn to value them. It was only four years later when I realized that moving to England was the best introduction to the world that I could have had, turning my weaknesses into strengths.
After my first year in a British school, I moved to an international school, in which I would stay four years. Here, a new episode of my life started as I became independent and started running my own life. I remember stepping on the big red bus for the first time going into the city with my friend. It was fascinating, from the grumpy bus driver looking at you through a cloudy glass to the people around you. My friend and I started doing the same with trains embarking on journeys, which we called ‘London Adventures’. I soon realized that I had been living in an amazing city and I hadn’t realized as a result of my refusal to change during the first year. The most fascinating part is walking around, not knowing where you are going or what you are going to find, trusting a map to guide you.
When I forgot my Oyster card I would...