By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
For the past 15 years, I’ve called Guam my home. It’s a miniscule island with roughly 209 square miles. It’s so small you’d almost need a magnifying glass to spot it on a globe. Population? It has 182,000 fewer people than half of Boston’s population.
Now, one might think that living on an island with sandy shores, lush jungles and sun virtually all year round is a blessing. I mean, beaches are less than a five-minute drive from anywhere on the island, hiking hotspots are scattered everywhere and the stars are visible at night.
I’ve been very fortunate to call such as beautiful island my home. But eventually, at some point within that 15-year frame, you get bored of the place. One day you’ll go to the beach and realize that what you’re looking at is just water and that this vast Pacific ocean disconnects you from the rest of the world.
This boredom started to balloon in high school. I was a restless teenager aching to see new sights and experience different cultures, especially at my prime. I wanted a change of scene because Guam eventually became monotonous: black and white.
When I received that huge envelope from Boston University containing my red folder of admission, I knew I had no choice but to accept. Why? Because Boston is the polar opposite of Guam. I now live in a bustling city, not an island. I’m experiencing autumn for the first time and gearing up for winter. I’m not subjected to eternal summer. I’m freezing, not melting. And I haven’t seen a palm tree in a while.
It’s been a little over a month since I moved to Boston, and I am still in a state of wonder and awe. I love walking around the city, looking up and seeing skyscrapers tower above me and hearing several different languages being spoken. I love watching the trees change in hue with each passing autumn day and watching the leaves float and swirl in the breeze. I love, love, love the T and its insane reliability. (I know, you locals are saying, “What?” But I’m serious.) I love how I no longer have to worry about rising gas prices without a car.
Oh, and I saw my first squirrel in Boston as I was walking down Commonwealth Avenue. I even took pictures and timelined that event on Facebook as “Saw My First Squirrel.” No joke. And you thought you were awkward and embarrassing.
All in all, I’m having a blast, and I’ve only barely scratched the surface of the limitless opportunities available for me in this dynamic city. I can’t wait for the rest of the year to unfold.
On a wistful note, I do miss home, and I hope that nothing I wrote above implies that I detest where I come from. Don’t get me wrong: I love Guam and I am absolutely just as excited to go back to my island home as I was when I began my 24-hour odyssey to Boston.
With the autumn cold chilling down my spine, I realize that I cannot wait to fly back to Guam and hit the beach. And I do miss seeing the stars at night. But then again, when I look out from my window in West Campus at night and see all the lights and the Boston skyline lingering in the distance, I think, “Hey, it’s not that bad.”