Though I opted to live with a host family during my study abroad, I will admit it was an decision I primarily wasn’t 100% sold on. Truthfully, my decision to live with a host family was just as big of a decision for me as it was to study abroad. I made a list of pros and cons and the pros easily outweighed the cons of living with a host family so at the very least, this calmed my nerves a little.
About six months after this decision, I arrived in Mexico. Thankfully (slash, of course) my host family and I immediately hit it off. I feel so lucky to be paired with such a wonderful and compatible family. And although my host family has had a few dozen students before me, they really do treat me like I am their own. (I’ll be honest, if I were in their shoes, I probably would have been 100% sick of host students at this point. (;)
My host parents are so hospitable: they show me around my new town, they walked with me to school the first day and are always inviting me to join them, whether that be a trip to the grocery store, an evening at the movies or to a fiesta.
One weekend, my host family planned to take a long weekend trip to Pachuca, a city three hours away, to visit family members. They graciously invited not only me, but also a friend from my program to join on the weekend trip – of course we both said yes – what an amazing opportunity!
We left early Saturday morning from Querétaro to make the three hour drive to Pachuca. It was a beautiful drive with lots and lots of winding roads.
We were staying with my host family’s family who own a bilingual school. It was such a beautiful little school and my host family’s family was equally hospitable and inclusive as my host parents! They immediately welcomed us, fed us, and showed us our rooms! Here I am on the front steps:
Once settled, they gave us a tour of their school. Here’s the music area:
There were many murals…
Here I am in front of one of the many murals…
There were also animals! Un pato:
Y los gatitos! (=
After the tour of the school, we took a short drive downtown to walk around and look in the little shops. We did a bit of window shopping, went to a yarn store for my host mom and stopped to get ice cream on the way home!
The next day my host parents’ family made a GIANT breakfast for us all – fruit, pastries, eggs, beans, potatoes, etc. DELICIOUS. All too soon after breakfast, it was time to begin heading back to Querétaro. We said our thank yous and goodbyes, piled in the car and got back on the road to Querétaro.
On the way back, we drove through more beautiful scenery – I snapped this picture from the backseat of our car somewhere between Pachuca and Querétaro – love the colors & this beautiful architecture:
I feel so thankful that my host parents invited us to join them. I could have gone to Pachuca myself at any time to explore, but taking the trip with my host parents and staying with their family made the experience so much more authentic and would have never happened had I not be living with a host family. Although opting with a host family made me nervous and certainly put me out of my comfort zone, I realized how thankful I was to have taken this leap of fate.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain