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Gap Year Abroad

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01/27/2016

Where 2 Weeks Feel Like a Lifetime

I feel that losing track of time can often be a sign of comfort. Over the past two weeks, settling into what is essentially a brand new life has gone better than I could possibly have expected. Every person I see on a daily or weekly basis is a person whom I had no idea existed before I arrived, but I could swear that I’ve known them for ages. I have a routine that’s been ironed out over a few days, but those are days I could’ve mistaken for months. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve realized that my life in Seville hasn’t even been two weeks long.

For some bizarre reason, I’ve also evaded any sort of bad experiences whatsoever in this short time. Everything that has happened so far has been absolutely stellar. I’m actually somewhat concerned, this kind of good fortune isn’t like me. Who would expect an 18 year-old to begin living in a foreign country with next to no preparation and have not a single major problem? I certainly didn’t. Several months ago I’d already decided that college would have to wait because it was simply too much to think about. Why is this so effortless, then?

I’m think I’m finally piecing the answer together, maybe. Possibly. It’s not certain. There’s a very special quality that Seville has. It is simultaneously otherworldly and intensely comforting, a duality I’ve never once encountered. Oftentimes, during my daily commute that is entirely ordinary and without fanfare, I will occasionally realize that everything around me is strikingly gorgeous. Paradise doesn’t usually look like paradise when you see it every day.

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Above: the lush interior gardens of Seville's royal Alcázar, a Moorish palace built in the 1360's

Aside from the city itself, the feeling of independence is exhilarating. It’s almost like I’m an adult! Mostly! Being in an environment where I have more resources than ever before to either strive for success or fail miserably requires an immense amount of self-confidence and trust. Not only do others have to trust my best judgment, I have to expect myself to use my best judgment. Going out for the night has yet to end in death, maiming, or other serious injuries, so I must be doing something right. Speaking of nightlife, Seville’s is thriving. Most excursions end up in the area of Plaza de la Alfalfa, an area packed with bars and clubs filled with Sevillans and expats alike. As far as nightclubs go, my friends and I have made runs through Tokyo, Abril, and Uthopia. I can’t say I have a preference; everything is equally exciting.

One moment in particular from the past few nights has remained at the front of my mind. We were all sitting beside the Guadalquivir, and, once again, we could've sworn that we'd been here for far longer than a mere week. In that spot, beneath the lights shining from bridges and vistas all around, time seemed to stand still. In a period where time moves very slowly, it slowed down to the point of stopping completely. I could've gotten used to that.

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Above: The Puente de Isabel II (aka Triana Bridge) on the Guadalquivir

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