What It's Like To Be A Spaniard In Ohio


Can you guess what flavor and food is sitting in this table? Is it sweet or savory? Does it consist of cream, or cheese, or just chocolate? Is it soft or hard? Creamy or crumbly?
You really can’t tell until you bite into it, can you!
The same goes for cities. You can hear hundreds of hours of talk about how freaking awesome a certain place is, and you can view one thousand photos of its streets and parks... But until you are standing there in person, smelling its real-life air, you can’t really begin to taste it.
This is to say: I’m happy that I have the opportunity to be in Columbus, Ohio. 

And suddenly you know... It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.
— Meister Eckhart

Wait. What are you doing here? 

That’s what every single person asks me when I tell them I’m a Barcelonian. “Why would you want to live in Columbus if you can live in Barcelona?”, they say. Well, there are many reasons, but the main one is that I really want to live abroad one more time. 
In my early 20s, I lived in London and it was the time of my life. Okay - I was a student back then, and things were easier for me. But while I was studying at King’s College London, I managed to work as an intern Language Teacher at the Lowther School, I prepared the exam to start my BA in Journalism, and I made one of my most precious friendships.
In other words, I developed myself personally more in that year than the previous decade. Now, I wanted to repeat the experience. But this time by prioritizing my career.  

Just as in the movies

If you’ve ever watched films that represent The American Dream, you know what I’m talking about!

You may have the idea of suburban living in the United States being something kind of like this:

Columbus Ohio MiriamBallesteros.com.jpeg

 And that is actually quite accurate! 
That is the normal kind of house you can expect an American family to live in. And actually, in Ohio I’ve seen slightly bigger houses than that. It’s not out of the ordinary at all.
Fun fact: I live in a small apartment in the Short North that has nothing to do with that! But you get my point. 😉
I’m really surprised by how similar life in America is to the movies. Obviously the action movie stuff will have over-the-top elements that you don't see in everyday life, but the general portrayal of people's attitude and overall values and moral compass, is quite precise!

There's nice, nice people all around

Maybe I’m just a lucky girl, but I happen to bump into a lot of welcoming, outgoing and relationship-worthy people in Columbus.
Since I came last April, I joined yoga groups, I went to BBQs and cookouts (I hosted some as well!), I rode electric karts, and I recently went to the Columbus Crew SC game. It was a-ma-zing! If you know me, you know I’m not a big fan of soccer. But Americans know how to take sports to the next level. Now —  I’m looking forward to to celebrating the 4th of July!

That’s what I love the most about this city: it’s full of social activity. Especially in the Short North and Downtown districts. There are tons of places where you can expand your network and make wonderful friends: professional events, meetups, sports-based groups, you name it!

Hungry, anyone?

I couldn’t write this post without mentioning how HUGE portions are here. Seriously. I’ve found slices of pizza bigger than my head. 
The food on my plate at a restaurant is a lot more than I can eat in one meal! And it goes for drinks too. When I order a small coffee at any coffee place I already can tell I won’t be able to finish it. In Barcelona, you can't even find cups this big, unless it is a beer mug.

Now I started ordering kiddie size only!

But let’s go back to that plate again. The answer to what is in the bowl in the first picture is: chocolate and peanut-butter confections, also known as Buckeyes. Did you guess it? Indeed, they're named after the nut of a buckeye tree, which is what they look like, thanks to an exposed circle of peanut butter that's left after they're dipped in chocolate.

Bringing it all together

To sum this up, I would say that living in Columbus is great fun if you take advantage of what is here. No matter your interests, there is bound to be something for you. It’s being quite a journey! 
So, short and sweet:
What I love most about life in America? Anything seems possible. And this is one of my favorite American characteristics — the sense of adventure! 
What I miss most about life in Spain? Family and friends. Everything else in the world is replaceable.
The moral is simply this:

If you have the chance to live abroad - take it. It’s an experience that can change your life. It’s certainly changing mine! 🙂