Hi everyone! It’s officially been a month since I have been in Madrid and wow, time really does pass by. It feels like I have done so much in such little time, nothing makes sense anymore!!
Within the past two weeks, I have explored much more of Madrid, going to El Rastro(flea market), Parque Del Retiro, Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor and so much more. All of these trips have been so fun, and have really brought out a new appreciation for all of the art and architecture of the past. Spain is rich in history and storytelling. I often forget that these moments actually happened, and it’s not a fairytale being told.
Some of my bigger trips this past month have been going to Segovia, a history city in northern Madrid with an abundant array of architecture, romanesque churches, and a beautiful palance with a gothic cathedral. Additionally, I also visited Barcelona, a cosmopolitan city known for art and architecture. Home to the gorgeous Gaudi masterpiece of La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Picasso Museum of Barcelona and of course, Camp Nou for FC Barcelona. After Visiting for a weekend, the city is full of nightlife, amazing food, and the architecture makes it more appreciative of the wonders of what humanity can do. While also catching a soccer game, my friends and I had a huge blast walking around the city, and crazy enough, walking 26 miles during our visit. I have definitely had a change in perspective and appreciation, becoming more aware of the significance in buildings and complexity of how the city was built, studying my surroundings from what I’ve learned from class. This experience so far has been wonderful and eye opening. Many times I’ve heard that going abroad will change your life, and wh9le I used to think it was corny and false, this new moment in my life has truly made me more appreciative of what I have and where I am.
The friends I’ve made so far are amazing, which has made being abroad easier to adjust and feel comfortable. In many cases, it is when I travel with them that oftentimes it feels overwhelming or encouraging to go out of my comfort zone and try new things. Although I’m traveling everywhere in Madrid, it’s been tough trying to find a good balance between my school work and enjoying the days I have here. My day-to-day is never the same, even when some of my weeks should be relatively the same. Time management has been a life saver for me this semester. Thankfully my body has adjusted to waking up at a much earlier time(7am is brutal), and since my classes are an hour away from the metro, I have no choice but to adjust. I have been early to class, and try to contribute as much as I can in class. The work ethic here in Madrid is out of this world, some days on the metro I see people doing work on their laptops, or reading a book while taking notes. It’s quite impressive how some people have the motivation to do some things, and it’s a big custom to work as much as they can before the day ends. It’s a new cultural fit and as I’ve done my best to adjust, my current priorities are to work around the balance of doing my work while enjoying life abroad. It’s been relatively easy to have my needs met here in Madrid, feeling like I have made a new family, all while studying. It’s been a great dynamic so far, and I want to emphasize that the community here in Madrid is very hardworking, and super kind at the same time.
I’m super excited to see where I travel next(hopefully Italy and France), and can’t wait to have more moments like this. Life is great, and I’m super happy and blessed to be studying here abroad, no matter how repetitive it gets. Stay tuned for more updates, and more story telling about my days abroad in Madrid!