By Asaya Leví Pérez Peredo, Mexico
As I embarked on my first journey abroad, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation, nervousness, dread, and excitement. Just like the traveler in Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” I stood at a crossroads, facing a multitude of possibilities and choices that lay before me.
I read the poem back in college but then I found myself during the first days of this amazing experience walking past Robert Frost’s house, beside a statue of him, and inside a library after his name. Then it hits you, everything comes together. In the poem, the traveler describes a yellow wood and two paths, and I was embedded in a vibrant foreign land, filled with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. The roads in front seemed equally inviting, each promising its own set of adventures and discoveries. One road led to bustling airports and city streets, where the pulse of life echoed through towering dorms, vibrant restaurants, college facilities, and city life here and there. The other path beckoned me towards serene countryside landscapes, where rolling hills, lush orchestrations of trees, and picturesque houses promised tranquility and a connection with nature.
Just as the traveler in the poem contemplated the worn path and leaf-covered one, I, too, pondered my options since the very beginning. Is it worth leaving family behind for five weeks to attend the SUSI program? Should I venture into the unknown, following the path less traveled, and explore it? In the end, just like the traveler, I made my choice. I followed my instincts and took the path that resonated with my spirit. Venturing into the vibrant cities and places I have been to or passed through so far, I have marveled at its grandeur and embraced the cultural tapestry that you are surrounded by. Every corner has revealed something new, the energy is contagious, and I find myself not only meeting part of American culture for the first time but also meeting an incredible group of more than twenty (I am including the amazing staff) and other enriching, gentle people from all parts of the world who have showcased their culture, personality, background, and traits magnificently. I am pretty sure now that I carry with me the spirit of the traveler in Frost’s poem. I want to embrace the unknown, celebrate the choices I make, and remain open to the possibilities that lay before me. I understand that every decision I make on this journey will shape my experience, and I am grateful for it. Reflecting upon the poem, upon the experience, I realize that it was not a matter of choosing the “right” path, but rather embracing the journey and the lessons it stores for me.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—-Robert Frost
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.