What It’s Like to Have Lived in 3 Countries by Senior Year 


Melanie Duran, contributor

Some people have simple lives, growing up in the same country, or sometimes the same town. Others don’t have a complicated family, either. I can’t relate; my life was and is detailed and unmanageable; I might as well tell you about it. My family includes my mom and dad, my stepmom, my stepdad, my stepbrother, my half-brother, and a dead sister and brother. I’m giving you a head start. Now that you know about my family, I’ll tell you the rest of my intricate life.  

My parents are from Costa Rica, but both moved to Canada in 2001 and met each other at the airport; I guess you could call it fate. Two years later, I was born. Due to my dad’s work, we would move around a lot; I’ve never been in a school for more than two years, so that means I’ve been all around Canada. About ten years later, we decided to give Costa Rica a chance to meet my family and see what it’s like to live there. My dad told me I should learn the phrase from Costa Rica, “Pura Vida,” which translates to “Pure Life.”   

It was August 5, 2014, when we landed in San Jose, Costa Rica. “Let’s make the most out of every new opportunity here” is something my mom said to me before landing. I met my family; it was weird because I couldn’t speak Spanish, and they asked questions I couldn’t answer. I also started school there, quickly learning Spanish in under a year, so talking to my family and friends wasn’t an issue anymore. After about two years in Costa Rica, my parents got divorced, and my dad just left. To make it short, we found out he got married and had a kid on the way; that’s where Arizona comes in.  

After a year of not hearing from my dad, he wanted me to meet my stepmom and half-brother. I visited multiple times.  The last time I saw them before moving was in December; on December 26, my brother, Axl, was born. I had to leave a couple of days after. Another year passed before I decided to move to Arizona; I wanted to watch my first brother grow up. Fast forward a couple of years, my stepmom and my dad are getting divorced, and we moved out. So, my dad and I are still figuring out this whole situation. We are thinking about moving again, so maybe next time I can add another county to the list.  

You could say everything I’ve been through has been challenging and has had a significant effect on my mental health, but I still wouldn’t change anything; I got the chance to meet so many new people, see different parts of the world, and got two younger brothers in the process.  Like I said at first, my life is complicated, but it was also worth it, nobody has the same experience, and I like the idea of it being unique.