Basic skills like ordering food, transportation, and communication are not ordinary tasks when in a foreign country, but opportunities for critical thinking and problem-solving, especially in Granada, Spain. During my time in this vibrant city, I encountered unexpected challenges that tested my ability to think critically and find innovative solutions.
The biggest learning experience that I have had so far is getting stranded on an island. I’ve traveled around the city and country by taxi and bus with nothing except my wallet which has my national ID. I usually don’t carry my passport because of how vital it is, I want to minimize the chance of it getting stolen or lost. When my friends asked me if I wanted to go on a trip to an island in Spain I said yes without hesitation and within 3 days, we were at the airport. Right before we had to board the plane, the employees of the airline we were flying with asked my friend and me for our passports, and we were surprised that we needed them since we were staying in the country. They allowed us to board the plane anyway which we were grateful for, but we didn’t understand what exactly we had signed up for. The island of Mallorca is a beautiful place, but its beauty came at very expensive costs. Within the time that we had planned to be on the island, I had spent more than double what I had planned on spending. The trip was fun but there were so many things that we hadn’t anticipated mainly due to the fact that we were excited to be going off on our own and exploring a country like actual adults. When we were ready to leave, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. To sum up everything that happened, I had to overnight my passport but since I was on an island, it still took the passport three days to arrive, and I missed a lot of school because of it. As soon as I got back from the island, I sat down and evaluated all of my decisions, remade my budget, and collected myself so that I could make sure I will never make a similar mistake again. Taking all of this into consideration, it is essential to reflect on our mistakes and analyze them in order to gain valuable insight and grow from them.
While my research on Granada’s culture had prepared me to some extent, there were still surprises along the way. Unfamiliar customs, language barriers, and logistical challenges have required me to think on my feet. I’ve had to become more flexible and open-minded as ever. As I’ve engaged in conversations with locals, sought their advice, and embraced the unfamiliar culture, I’ve learned a lot. These interactions provided invaluable insights and helped me navigate unforeseen circumstances with greater ease.
My experiences in Granada have honed my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Simple tasks such as going out to eat, deciphering public transportation, and bridging language gaps have become gateways to a deeper understanding of the city’s culture. By embracing the unexpected and approaching challenges with excitement, every moment here has been interesting.
In my future travels, inspired by Granada, I will carry these lessons with me. I will continue to research and prepare, but I will also embrace the unknown and remain adaptable. Each unexpected situation will be met with a determination to find solutions and connect with the local community. These experiences will help me gain a well-rounded understanding of places and develop the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate any journey, especially in a city as captivating as Granada, Spain.