The Impossibility of Deciding Between My Two Countries

Decidir Entre Mis Dos Patrias Es Imposible

This past weekend, El Sur -a Chilean newspaper from my hometown- published an article about me and my life here in the United States.

The article was part of the Penquistas Por El Mundo section of the Vida Social.


The title of the article is “Decidir entre mis dos patrias es imposible” which translates to ‘to decide between my two countries is impossible.’ For my bilingual friends, you can read the article in Spanish here.

Otherwise, here is the translated version of the story. Enjoy.

“It was mid-1998, and Denise Leitch (32) began to pack to live one of her greatest adventures to date, becoming an exchange student in Morton, Illinois, USA, for one entire year in order to get to know a different culture from within. However, the stay was extended and there was no return. The years passed, she became a professional, got married and now has two children.

5 Tips To Traveling Successfully With Young Children {A Chilean Adventure}

Crying. Winning. Kicking. Complaining. Talking loudly. Having to go potty at the worse possible time… the list can go on and on.


Alex (4) and I traveling with style. Hehehe

These are all types of behaviors and scenarios that, as parents, we would like to avoid when traveling.

Ideally, we all want our children to behave, listen, and be respectful so that all other passengers and your own family can enjoy the trip.

I have traveled with Contessa (6) and Alex (4) multiple times nationally and internationally since they were infants. From my perspective, it is not difficult to have a successful and enjoyable traveling experience as long as you factor in the children’s needs.

5 Tips To Traveling Successfully With Young Children

Questioning Little Minds {A Chilean Adventure}

Have your children flown on an airplane before? If so, what was your experience like? What did they think of it? How did they behave? Where they bombarding you with lots of questions along the way?

Children are always trying to make sense of their world and attempting to understand what is going on around them. Asking questions is so natural and such a great way to learn.



Not to mention that human beings are curious by nature anyway, right?

During our trip, we had to take three different airplanes to arrive from point A to point B. Alex and Contessa were full of fascinating questions and observations all along the way. Most I was able to answer right away, others we had to figure out together, and some we just had to wait and do some research later on.

Where Are Your Roots? {A Chilean Adventure}

Do you live far away from your native country? How often do you get to travel back home? If you have children, do you get to take them along? Are they proficient in your language?

I have lived in the United Stated for half of my life now -so hard to believe!- And I have been fortunate enough to travel back to Chile every so often. Now, that my husband and I have two young children, we are making the effort to go visit my homeland at least every other year.


This time, I am currently on my way to Chile with our six year old daughter, Contessa, and our four year old son, Alex, ready to experience a two month travel adventure.

For the first time in my life, I am very nervous about my trip back to my homeland. Going back to my family, childhood friends, and my roots seems very emotionally difficult now.


Chica Chica Bum Bum, Alex Alex Bum Bum

We have all heard the saying “children say that darndest things” at some point in our lives.


From left to right: Alex (4), Samson (6), and Contessa (6)

As a teacher and as I mom I get to hear all kinds of wonderful things from amazing new knowledge that they have acquired to the silliest quotable sayings.

When children makes these types of comments, there are certain ones that I just have to share with the world!

My son’s latest comment made me want to squeeze him, hugging him so hard,… and shower him with kisses. Now, I think he is still wondering why Mami did that.

Image from inside of Chica Chica Bum Bum Book

Chica, Chica, Bum, Bum by Bill Martin. Image from Amazon.com.

The other night, I was reading Chica, Chica, Bum, Bum to my children as a bed time story. This book is the Spanish version of Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by by Bill Martin Jr. (Author) , John Archambault (Author) , Lois Ehlert (Illustrator).