This summer I traveled to the US a bunch of friends from college. We worked for almost three months at an amusement park. The initial reason for us to work there was to improve our english, plus we'd get to meet people from "all over the world" that were also working at the park. But it ended up being so much more than that.
I realized I didn't really know my friends. During the summer, I was able to know sides of each one of them that I did'n know. For example my roomate at the park. We weren't really close friends when we arrived (actually, I thought he was really boring). But when you're away from your country and your family, you start opening to other people as if you were best friends. His mother died about nine months ago. It was really hard for him, becuase he had to be the strong one in the family, because his father and sisters were completely devastated. That's why he decided to travel with us to the US, because he wanted to get away from everything, and having some time to organizing his life. I also found out he's a die hard fan of Madonna, (he spent more than 500 dollars going to Chicago for her concert). The Madonna subject allowed us to talk about gay people. He's not gay or anything, but he has several friends who are. He has gone to several gay bars in Bogota, and he told me he really doesn't like how promiscuous and shallow most gay people are. He also told me he has a friend, who he's almost sure he's gay, since the guy is the one who has taken him to the gay bars, and everything, but he's not out, and asked me what he should do about it. Now, I don't know if he was telling me this because he thinks i'm gay, or if it's just my imagination. I just told him (in a very straight and detached way) that if he was gay, he'd probably come out when felt ready to do it. Later I realized I was not only talking about his friend, but also about me.
I guess this summer helped me to see thing from a different view. It's really helpful when you get away from everything, so you can have a detailed perspective of what surrounds you in your everyday life. I also felt in love with the US (although all the references people made to cocaine as soon as I mentioned "Colombia" really pissed me off), specially with Chicago...I lived there one of the most special moments of my entire life.