Well my time has finally come to a close in Spain. I am back home after 260 wonderful days abroad. It's crazy to think that my life is changing yet again as I embark on my next adventure: college.
I am a strong believer that the choices we make as well as our actions shape our character as a human being. My gap year in Spain has given me the opportunity to make my own life decisions and has definitely changed me, even if that sounds completely cliché and gross. Throughout the nine months I spent in Spain I experienced some big changes. I won’t go into detail on all of them, that’s rather personal, but to make it simple: I lost some friends and I met some amazing people that I am proud to call my friends now. After returning home I have found that I am more confident, I am happy, and I have learned to overcome challenges put in my way.
One of the most rewarding things I took away from the year is my ability to speak Spanish. I am very proud of my accomplishment, and even miss the daily usage of the language now that I am back in the States.
Of course I missed home while I was away. I missed my family, the variety of food available in restaurants, being able to do my own laundry, even my Nalgene water bottle; but now I feel a little torn. I feel as though I have two homes and am already trying to figure out the next time I can go back.
Learning about other cultures and how to fit into situations you may not be completely comfortable with is an important life skill. In addition to studying in my language academy, travel in itself is its own kind of education that provides you with information you remember because it’s necessary or important to you, not because you’ll have a test on it later. As a hands-on learner, the opportunity to immerse myself in a new situation was just what I needed as an opportunity to grow. I feel prepared for the next change in my life.
I learned from my peers, from my teachers, from my host family, and a lot I figured out on my own. I am vey lucky to have had such an experience and hope to whoever reads this, that they consider taking this step and studying abroad. I’m a little biased but Sevilla is amazing.
Sevilla has a city emblem, "no8do". The legend behind this symbol of the city is that the "8" is a spool of yarn which in Spanish is madeja. This would mean that the symbol reads "no madeja do" which sounds similar to "no me ha dejado" which in English through interpretation means "the city has not left me behind". This explains my emotions perfectly. I will always remember the people I met and the things I learned this year. Sevilla will never leave me.