“I hate Utah,” is something I hear often. People complain about the weather, pollution, traffic, sales tax, etc. Residents will always find something to complain about, but the truth is, you will never appreciate the place you live until you go somewhere else.
I’m not from Utah. Where I come from the traffic is atrocious, your personal safety is a constant concern and poverty plagues every corner. Even with all those problems, which are serious indeed, I never ceased to see my country of origin as anything less than beautiful until I moved to Utah.
That does not mean Mexico is no longer for me a beautiful place, but moving to Utah helped me realize there are better places with different opportunities and lifestyles. I would have never imagined that there was a place as beautiful as Utah.
One of the first things I realized was that Utah has clean streets. The streets here are well taken care of, there is almost no trash and it looks like people are educated enough to make good use of the trashcans. This impacted me greatly; the streets in other countries are neglected by the government and residents of the area as if they don’t care about the place they live.
Utah’s public transportation is safe. The first time I used public transportation I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have to hide my cellphone or electronic devices; I was safe. No one would take them away from me. Yes, I got robbed more than enough times in my own country that I thought it was an issue everywhere. I felt at ease when I realized I was living in a safer place.
Traffic! People could argue there is always traffic, and to them it might seem overly abundant. This is because they haven’t experienced what real traffic looks like. The only things that could cause traffic in Utah are accidents or snow. Other than that the freeways are almost clear, and if that’s not the case, at least the cars are moving. I used to live 40 minutes aways from my high school. However, it turned out to be a two-hour drive each day. That’s how bad traffic is in some places.
Although many don’t think so, Utah is culturally diverse. There are many different cultures mixed in this one place. I never had the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures before. It is such a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge of cultures around the world and share yours as well. The Brazilians and Portuguese taught me how to dance the samba, and from the Argentinians I learned to drink Mate. The Utahns, of course, taught me the importance of fry sauce.
I will always miss Mexico, but I would never regret the decision of moving to Utah. It might look like hell to some, but to me it is paradise.