“If something can go wrong, it will”- Murphy’s Law
iHola a todos!
I cannot believe how fast time flies! It has almost been a month since I arrived in Madrid and every day has been an adventure. I feel so incredibly blessed and still in disbelief that I get to wake up in Spain everyday. Since coming here, I have felt a variety of emotions including curiosity, excitement, nervousness, and homesickness. Initially, I thought I should not be feeling anything besides from happiness because I was in a position that only few will ever get to experience. I soon realized that no matter how many how-to’s I read, nothing will ever prepare me for the adventures and challenges that are lying ahead.
Over the weekend, I went to Porto, Portugal with some friends and had an amazing time! However, the first day was filled with difficulties ranging from the taxi strike in Madrid and us running around trying to find the Airbnb office, but none could compare to my phone turning itself off for the whole day. Being disconnected from my phone was something that I did not expect and could have foreseen. Immediately, the feelings of vulnerability and homesickness hit me. This was the third time homesickness had hit me, however, this time things felt different. Compared to my first two waves of homesickness, I felt scared but reassured at the same time because I was surrounded by an amazing group of friends. Even though the situation could not be helped or fixed immediately, their presence alone made me feel relief.
I believe that people who study abroad have a task of choosing excitement over the fear of the unknown every day. I must admit studying abroad is not always as picture perfect as some imagine it to be. It can be astounding and fun but the other part they never tell you about is how hard and challenging it is too. Homesickness never leaves but it does get easier every day. In just a mere four weeks, I have met some of the nicest, funniest, and kindest people whom I would have never met if it wasn’t for studying abroad. Having people who understand exactly how and what you are feeling is reassuring in itself.
On a lighter note, this week was filled with nothing but spontaneous plans and adventures. I also had my first midterm and I am happy to say that I survived it!
Here are the places I have visited this week:
- Our last day in Porto was filled with great company, incredible views, and way too many pastries and food!
- Sidrería El Tigre is a very popular bar among the locals in Madrid. When you order a drink, you get a huge amount of tapas that comes with it. Included are bread with cheese, fried chickens, patatas bravas, tortilla de patatas, jamón serrano (Spanish ham) or chorizo.
- The Palacio de Cristal at Parque del Buen Retiro is a must-see if one ever visit Madrid! It is a conservatory located within the Retiro Park that holds temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
- On Friday, we went on a school field trip to Toledo, Spain. Known as the “city of the three cultures”, Toledo was home to Christians, Jews, and Arabs who lived together there for centuries. We visited Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca, the Sephardic Museum, Iglesia de Santo Tomé, and the Mezquita Cristo de la Luz. The city itself reflects the rich diversity that was once unheard of. The history of religious tolerance and coexistence between the Jews, Christians, and Muslims can be seen throughout the city of Toledo.
Song of the week: “Suncity (ft. Empress Of)” – Khalid, Empress Of