|Back in the US of A, Philadelphia to be exact-- |
from left to right, grandma, me, sister Stephanie, and grandma #2
What have I learned through this experience? Well, just to list a few...
1. To speak Spanish. That was the whole point of the trip, and it was well-carried out by my program. I would highly recommend CCCS to anyone thinking of studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. They think of all the small things-- from affordable cell phone plans, to Thanksgiving celebrations, to setting up tutoring for spending money while abroad. I don't think any other program could compare (but of course I'm biased).
2. To travel alone/ navigate more independently. I never would have thought that I could get myself to and from European countries, let alone home from Seville to New York, before this trip.
3. To love a culture other than my own. While everyone thinks her own country is the best, each has something to offer.
4. To appreciate history more. And that Europe has so much more to offer than the US in that realm. What is to be said for a country, a culture, and even buildings that have been standing longer than the US has existed...
5. To ask questions and to speak my voice. It's something I really had a problem with before, but after some roommate struggles, I learned the importance of creating my own happiness-- and that nobody knows if something is bothering you unless you say so.
6. To try new foods. Scary, but worth it.
7. To take my drinks stronger-- both coffee and liquor.
8. To let loose a little, and not focus on the time. Take a trip to Paris and splurge a little on macaroons. Or go to a discoteca until 4 AM with the rest of the American bunch. And for once, not to worry about being late. I learned a whole new perspective of time while in Andalucia-- someone asked me the first day I was there, "Why are Americans always asking the time-- always in a rush?" Life, I've learned, sometimes should just be appreciated for what it is, and not counted down constantly. Time really isn't always that important.
9. To be a little more dependent on friends for small favors. Having a solid group of friends to share experiences and feelings (and shampoo/ a shirt once in a while) is so important when traveling with one small backpack-- coordinate and share!!
10. Confidence and self-empowerment. I was so scared to take this leap, but it has been so self-empowering for me. I feel like if I can do what I just did, I can do anything I set my mind to.
That's all folks! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. And one last song before we wrap it up...
Defying Gravity, Wicked
Ok, I lie. I have to end with what I started with, right?
Livin' la vida loca, Ricky Martin...
Well, this is me, livin la vida loca. Til next time, Sevilla...
"No me ha dejado"
Sevilla has not abandoned me.