This is the point of view of a foreigner who made this beautiful city her home.
About two years ago, I embarked on an adventure that involved leaving the country where I was born and grew up, to arrive at a completely different place with new customs, new rules, and new ways of seeing life. In the beginning, like every unknown situation, the anguish invaded me, and I almost gave up on the idea to come here. I wish that I would have had some Rowan County relocation guidance to help me get quickly acclimated.
On March 9, 2017, the plane in which I was flying landed in Charlotte, the beautiful and imposing “Queen City”. Charlotte received me with all the strength and hustle of the great metropolis.
After a year of lessons, disappointments, and many adventures, I met the man responsible for bringing me to this beautiful city of Salisbury, NC. It was 2018 and the emptiness in my stomach returned together with the nerves and the uncertainty of starting over.
Welcomed with Open Arms
Months passed by and it was finally time to leave the house and discover new places and new faces. The website Meetup played on my side when I found small weekly meetings in a local coffee shop called Mean Mug where you could learn and practice Spanish. That’s when I thought: this is the perfect opportunity to make friends, without stressing over trying to speak English – nothing could go wrong.
I arrived at the Meetup with my heart on my sleeve. Who would think that someone could be so anguished by something as simple as attending a meeting to talk and have a good time? At the end of the corridor in a corner, I saw a group of people laughing and I assumed that it was the meeting I was looking for. So, I walked up to them and introduced myself. The owner of Mean Mug, Evelyn Medina, welcomed me with open arms and invited me to join them. I had a very good evening! Everyone was kind and I felt like a fish IN the water, speaking my native language. Two hours went by and suddenly everyone starts speaking in English again and I had an internal dialogue in my head:
And now what do I do? What if I make tons of mistakes while I speak?
Keep calm, breathe. Do not stay quiet, just say something.
What if they do not understand what I am saying and I make a fool of myself?
Just try it…
I ventured to answer, with all the pessimism in the world, and although I made a lot of mistakes, stuttering, and sweating – what do you think happened? Absolutely nothing! None of the thousands of scenarios full of negativity became reality. On the contrary, they smiled and continued to talk with me, as happy and kind as when the evening began.
It was then that I realized it was not about the language I spoke (the one that made me feel happy and welcome); rather, it was the company and the people surrounding me.
This experience was one of the reasons Salisbury captivated me – its candor and its people. At the end of the day, all those who live and work in this community leave part of themselves in every corner that builds the essence of Rowan County.
Falling In Love with a New City
I still remember the first time I came to Salisbury. I was delighted with all the colors, sounds, and smells of downtown. There are a ton of fun activities that you can do throughout all of Rowan County. The small shops and restaurants transported me to the movies I saw as a child. In my mind, it was a place taken from a postcard.
There is a phrase that says ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ and I could not agree more! Sometimes, we are so wrapped up in the routine of our day-to-day lives, that we forget to appreciate the small details that surround us. Things as simple as storefronts, buildings full of history, and structures with exquisite architecture left my mouth open wide. So, if you saw a girl taking pictures of the shop windows in downtown – it was me.
I became a wife and mother in this city. Despite the nostalgia that comes from knowing that the other half of my heart is in Mexico with my parents, I am grateful to God and to life for allowing me and encouraging me to make all the decisions that brought me here.
Today, I feel deeply fortunate for the simple things in my day-to-day life, as well as for the wonders that surround me. Places like the local art galleries that feed my imagination or Dan Nicholas Park which allows me to enjoy endless activities with my little family. When I’m feeling full of energy, you can undoubtedly find me going for a run around the lake or finding treasures in the gem mine. While on a lazy day, I enjoy exploring the zoo and admiring the beauty of nature. Oddly enough the weather of Rowan County is enjoyable more often than not.
This is a personal story that transcended borders. Life is so ironic. If someone had told me 15 years ago that my home would be here in Salisbury, I would not have believed them. But here I am, almost two years have passed by and I already feel that I am in debt to this city.
Thank you Salisbury, for taking me in and becoming my home.