Shorter blog this week: Amidst all the packing and the last-time treks across Ávila, I didn´t have time to write the usual novel. Two days left and I´m trying to figure out what to feel. (I overthink things, if you haven´t noticed.) Maybe a better way to phrase it is I´m trying to find the perfect combination of being sad about leaving and excited about going home. For example, if all I can think about is going home, then I´m going to miss out on the rest of the trip. But if I can´t stand the thought of leaving Spain, then I´ll just be melancholy for the rest of the summer, thinking about what´s behind instead of what´s ahead of me: seeing my family again, showing off my pictures, and eating all the Spanish sweets I´m bringing home. Instead, what I need to do is soak up today and tomorrow (not Saturday, that´s my stuck-on-a-plane-or-in-airports day) and promise myself I´m coming back to visit. I don´t know when, I don´t know for how long, and I definitely don´t know where the money´s coming from. (I´m an education major.) Next time, I want to bring my family or my future students with me, and not just because I want to show off my Spanish skills! This type of trip is one that needs to be shared with others. It´s that awesome! This trip, I honestly wasn´t that homesick, because I knew at the beginning of the trip that everything I would miss (people, food, English) would be waiting for me in six weeks. Now that the end of the trip is near, I am excited to go home, but I´m also thinking about the things I didn´t have time for this time around. I never saw a fútbol game. I never went to a bullfight, although I don´t know if I would enjoy it or have to watch through my fingers. I never saw people running with the bulls (I´m in the wrong part of Spain for that.) There are so many things I didn´t do and foods I didn´t have a chance to try, but I find comfort in the fact that I still experienced a lot. I swam in the Mediterranean. I visited a castle and climbed up a tight-spiraling, terrifying tower. I made sloppy joes for my host mom. I visited seven different cities in Spain. I walked through El Prado and El Greco´s house, I explored an open market in Madrid without getting robbed, and I learned how to dance Las Sevillanas. Not to mention I survived six weeks of living with someone who spoke a different language, navigating unfamiliar cities and public transportation systems, eating food that wasn´t my family´s, and not turning on my cellphone. (The last one was actually the easiest for me!) I tried new food like tortilla patata, croquetas, turrón, cocido, and paella. I bought three books in Spanish, two fans, castañuelas, a flamenco skirt, postcards, a Universidad de Salamanca shirt, an ever-growing pile of Spanish snacks, and much more. I´m going to miss my host mom, classmates, teachers, and this city, but I chose to focus of all the positive aspects of this trip (everything) and share my stories in hopes of inspiring other students to take their own journey into unfamiliar territory.

Advertisements