A Letter to My ‘Study Abroad Friends’:

Dear You Know Who You Are,

I didn’t mean for this to happen. Of all the worries I had before leaving for Spain, I didn’t even think about the friends I would make. I don’t know why, I guess I was more focused on traveling with friends who were studying in other parts of Europe. Of course, meeting up with childhood friends in a foreign land was one of the best experiences I had over the past four months; but I quickly learned that the friends you make when you’re traveling are friends you will have for a lifetime. Continue reading “A Letter to My ‘Study Abroad Friends’:”

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A Ridiculous Adventure

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My view for an hour

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ~John Lennon

Today I learned the meaning of another cliche. WARNING: this is a ridiculous story. So there’s a big park called “el rio” that stretches throughout the entire city of Valencia, kind of like Central Park. A lot of people use it as a destination point. People say, if you ever get lost, as long as you can get to the river, you’ll find your way home. Continue reading “A Ridiculous Adventure”

Month (and a half) Reflection

Barcelona!Before I left for Spain, I wondered how studying abroad would change me and what parts of my life would stay or feel the same. After being here for a little over a month, I know now that I feel completely different and completely the same all the time. I have moments where it feels like everything has changed and others where nothing really feels that different.

Living in a smaller Spanish city, I am constantly conflicted between wanting to immerse myself into the culture entirely and wanting to rebel against it by eating Doritos in my bed while watching an episode of Friends I’ve already seen 625 times. I’ve accepted that I’m going to crave an everything bagel with cream cheese every morning, but I am surviving without it. Continue reading “Month (and a half) Reflection”

Bilingual fly on the wall

1528511_10152824540132524_1341709040_nIn my peripheral vision I could see Valencia, but I was more focused on what Raquel, one of my study abroad group’s directors, was saying.

“After you unpack your things and your host mom has given you a set of keys, many students feel a sense of, ‘well, what now? Why am I here?’”

The thought confused me mostly because I hadn’t thought much about that moment. For the past few days of exploring Madrid and Toledo, I hadn’t worried about anything except for how I seemed to have been the only person who brought more than one suitcase to Spain. But now, after months of preparation, I was about to meet the woman who would host me in her home, make authentic Valencian meals for me and do my laundry for the next four months. I hadn’t thought about the moment where I would settle in. Is there downtime on a study abroad program? I had been going, going, going for five days – I had almost forgotten what it would be like to just sit down. Continue reading “Bilingual fly on the wall”