Sentiments of Home While Traveling







Where has the time gone?

Yesterday afternoon as I sat in my favorite, go-to cafe in the central part of Oviedo with a group of friends, I happened to stumble upon the date when quickly checking the time; I was shocked at what I saw. One day away from March! “How could the time be flying so fast,” I thought? My friends and I began sharing our personal experiences and opinions of Oviedo as well as our wishes for our stay when it hit us that we had been in Spain for nearly two months and have essentially completed nearly half of the program. We collectively realized that as Oviedo feels more and more like home, the days continue to go by faster and faster. Odd how that works, right?

Paris, France

During the weekend prior to this conversation, I visited Paris with a friend, Kaitlynn. Her best friend studies art in Paris, and to my surprise, offered us to stay at her flat for free. We decided to jump on this opportunity and were so grateful for such generosity. Upon arrival, we had Indian food waiting for us, which not only was an extremely kind gesture, but was also tremendously satisfying because we have been eating the same styled food for over two months.

Me posing in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Aside from the varied, delicious foods both prepared by our host and purchased in local cafes, we spent the most amount of time exploring the grandiose city. Lucky for us, we had our own personal tour guide: Kaitlynn’s friend, Felicity. With this insider’s perspective we traversed the city, visiting the Louvre Museum, the Museum D’Orsay, and the modern art museum. The famous art pieces, such as the urinal and the Mona Lisa, were right before our eyes; we felt like we were in a dream! Aside from the museums, we visited the Eiffel Tower, the Opera House, the Triumph Arch, the Notre Dame, the Sacred Heart Church and the gardens. Not only can I saw that I have seen Paris thru and thru, but I also have become an expert in Paris’ subway system, which consists of 12 lines and two regional rails to the airport.

Me about to enter the Louvre Museum and see the various artists that I have been learning about in my Art of Spain class.

Home away from Home

Throughout my stay in Paris, my mind kept going back to Oviedo. The tiniest things, from the scents of coffee to the inclined streets, reminded me of where I have been staying since January. It occurred to me that I missed Oviedo—that I had missed my new home. This internal comparison that I had been unconsciously making made me realize how much I enjoyed Spain and the ability to be an environment that requires the use of Spanish. Despite the apparent differences between Oviedo and Philadelphia, I’m coming to see that my day by day life here is more similar to the life I lead in the United States. I believe this realization made me miss being in Oviedo even more. The longer I’m here and the more I practice my Spanish, the more Oviedo feels like a home away from my true home.

Thus, my feelings toward Oviedo again take me back to our conversation in the café and put in to perspective this experience, our time left here, and encouraged me to ensure that I make the best out of every last remaining second of my study abroad.