Life In Puerto Rico

Antti Lehtomäki

Fulbright Center Undergraduate Grantee 2007-2008
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Helsinki University of Technology

After finishing the first semester at University of Puerto Rico, I went back to Finland to see my close-ones, and I have to admit that the contrast was quitehuge, from a tropical island to Finnish winter. After the three weeks in Finland, I was getting anxious to go search for some new adventures, new cities, new people and most important of all, new challenges.

What keeps surprising me are the people that you meet traveling. You do not normally pay very close attention to strangers around you, but when you do strike up a conversation with them, it is amazing how similar thoughts they may have even though they have grown up in a totally different culture.

One special occasion that struck me happened when I was visiting San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, during my stay in a local guesthouse. I was preparing to go to sleep and was walking with my tooth brush towards the restrooms, when I met this Japanese woman who was staying there. We started talking and before I noticed we had talked half an hour and had exchanged thoughts about things like traveling, family, individualism, priorities, happiness, living to the max and success.

Most of the time when you meet new people, quite rarely do you really share your views about the world, but when it does happen, it’s a moment that you shouldn’t overlook.

Even though I am not feeling homesickness, I do feel that when it is time to return to Finland, it’s going to be amazing to put my new abilities to use, increased optimism, entrepreneurship, and the most important of them all, the idea that “Everything is possible.”

Photo: On the beach, Antti on the left

Published in the Fulbright Center News 1/2008