Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Final thoughts

I am currently writing this on the plane from Madrid to Philadelphia. I want to say thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported my decision to study abroad.

What I will miss about Spain

Public Transportation, getting anywhere in the city quickly and cheaply via metro or bus

My host mother, Rosa, and our housekeeper Piudad who were sure to keep me in line, provide all my meals, and do my laundry for the past 4 months

Eating bread and olive oil with every meal


Going to a restaurant with friends and sit there for over hours just talking about the anything and everything… literally

Cien Montoditos every Wednesday (Little sandwiches and a huge beer for 1 euro)

Spending the afternoons in Retiro Park with friends just laying in the grass in between class

Seeing Obama’s picture in Spain’s newspaper more than ours

Spanish night clubs and bars

Real Madrid futbol

The constant battle between Barcelona and Madrid

Walking everyday to class passing the Prado Museum and Retiro (it always puts you in a good mood no matter how shitty of a day you have)

My teachers and study abroad advisers through my program in Spain

Traveling to another country for less that 50 Euro like it’s no big deal

How easy it is to travel in Europe

Pretending I’m Spanish in public

Picking up on people’s conversations on the Metro and feeling like a badass when I know what they are saying

Tapas with every beer

All the Americans at Dubliners near Sol

Walking by incredibly large and historic buildings that are older than our country everyday

The phrase “No pasa nada”

Ordering food in perfect Spanish and receive a reply in English

Catching the metro at 6:00am when it opens after staying out the whole night before

Jamon (ham)

Party Committee with Sharon

How safe you feel in Madrid

Walking around Sol and Plaza Mayor at night with people everywhere in the plazas

Batalloning(drinking) outside in the Plaza or Retiero out of our literos de Mauh

And finally all the great friends and memories I have made

What I miss about America

Friends and Family

The food! (Taco bell, Real Hacienda, Pizza, Jimmy Johns, Mac and Cheese, Hamburgers cooked all the way, etc.)

PAYING IN CREDIT CARD! It seems no one accepts credit cards and if you are eating with a big group, there is nothing as splitting the check. You go through Euros REAL fast after a while

The Exchange rate

American TV

Being able to watch things on the internet without restrictions because I do not live in the right continent to support the videos (nbc.com, Pandora.com, and a few youtube videos)

Just picking up and driving anywhere you want.--it’s going to be crazy

Understanding everything that is going on around me

Stores are actually open on Sundays and in between 2-5pm

Going to a café to work on a paper and drink coffee (you get judged if you do that here)

Having a 21st birthday being a big deal (legal drinking age is 16)

Not using electrical converters for everything I plug in

Sigma Chi

Going to the lake with the family

And finally, MY BLACKBERRY

Alright now after my flight was delayed for over an hour, I am now flying from Philadelphia to Chicago looking out over this absolutely beautiful sky while my Itunes are playing the most depressing songs that are constantly reminding me of Spain. It really feels just like yesterday when I was packing my suitcases with Mom, having my final dinner in Chicago with the family, and watching them stay behind as I go through security at the airport for the biggest adventure of my life. This has all just seemed like one big dream that never happened. I will go back tomorrow walking a little bit taller with a greater appreciation of all things I have. A little bit of my heart will ALWAYS be in Spain, and I cannot wait until the day I can go back to get it. Words cannot describe everything that is going through my mind about this experience. I have learned so much about world around me, and most importantly, myself. My trip has made me realize all the potential this world has to offer and what I need to do to constantly adapt to this ever changing place we all live. I will continue to grow from this experience.

From the above list, I think it’s pretty obvious how much I will miss Spain. A part of me will always be in Spain and I cannot wait for the day when I will get the opportunity to return.