Where are you from? ¿De dónde eres? Non zara? आप कहां से हैं Où êtes-vous? 你从哪儿来
This is a simple question that is asked around the world. To know someone, understand someone, appreciate someone we must first recognize where that person originates.
My name is Jasmine McDermott and I am from Salinas, California. It is a small city nestled into the Salinas Valley; the same valley made famous by Mr. John Steinbeck. Other than being known as the hometown to John Steinbeck, it also is an agricultural hub and is often referred to as “The Salad Bowl of the World.”
Although this is where I grew up, I have lived in San Luis Obispo for the past three years. It is a short two hour drive from my hometown, but sometimes it feels as though it is a world away. I am a Business major at Cal Poly State University. Specifically, I am concentrating in Entrepreneurship. Although it is supposed to be more “concentrated,” I feel as though I am presented with endless business possibilities. I wish that I could say I know exactly what I want to do, but I have come to understand that what I am meant to do will unfold organically. Some things in life simply take time. I am interested in non-profit organizations and companies that strive to make social, environmental and economic change. Traveling, languages and journalism have also fascinated me throughout the years. All of these elements have played a part in leading me to where I am now: Bilbao, Spain.
Every morning I wake up and I have to pinch myself as a reminder that I am actually living in a foreign country. Living in Spain has been something I have always dreamed of. I chose Bilbao in hopes of learning Spanish while also pursuing business classes. Thus far, I have found the city to be beautiful, bustling and bold. I have learned the difference between “Basque” and “Spanish” and am well aware that I am in the Basque region, not merely Spain. I see blatant differences between life here and life in the United States. Life here is slower and in some ways seems to be a bit sweeter. It may be the romanticized idea of studying abroad, but for now I will stand by my first impression. I am eager to see what lies ahead. As for where to next, it is yet to be determined…
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard