i spent the first sixteen days of this past december living out my life long dream of traveling to spain. it was an experience that, to say the least, changed me indefinitely. and i know it sounds so cliche- girl leaves her small little bubble of the world to travel abroad and suddenly comes back to the states, and not only says shit like “the states”, but also has a brand new perspective on life and is never the same- i know. but it’s true.
nothing, and i mean absolutely nothing, went how i imagined it would. but thinking back in retrospect, i don’t even know how i imagined those sixteen days were going to play out. i don’t remember my expectations or if i even had any. it was all a surreal blur until i ended up in madrid my first night sobbing because the food was terrible and jet lag sucks. it was bad. i was forced so far out of my comfort zone in such a short amount of time that it was overwhelming. culture shock hit me like a brick wall and i was scared. but i was okay with being scared because i knew it was going to pass.
and pass it did. the food never got any better, but the coffee was fab and the vino was ever flowing. i learned to adapt and adjust to the laxed life that surrounded me. that was probably the most difficult adjustment for me. force me to eat all of the jamon and seafood you want, i’ll be fine; but put someone as high strung as myself into a country that is so relaxed and carefree… nope! all i have to say is thank the good lord for xanax and eight amazing friends.
those eight made the trip everything and more. we started off as strangers and ended up as family. we went through hell and back together and i don’t think i could have survived this experience without them.
i miss toledo the most. i was there for nine hours, but i can say without a shadow of doubt, that those were the best nine hours of my life. i fell so madly in love with that city and don’t even have the words to describe it.
i wish i would have seen more of segovia and cordoba. i blame the rain and poor program planning. regardless, they were spectacular.
seville was the madrid that i could actually see myself living in. it was a city, but not an overwhelmingly obnoxious city. i really did love it there.
it took me twenty one years to see mountains. and it was worth the wait to see them in granada. standing on top of the alhambra made me feel so small, yet impossibly infinite at the same time.
a part of my heart will always be in madrid. hate is such a strong word, but exactly the word i need to describe my first impressions of this city. the first five days of my trip were rough and i could not wait to leave madrid, but by day eleven i was ecstatic to come home! i felt like i had lived there my whole life. there was a level of comfortability felt in madrid that i had never experienced before. i had kindly welcomed back my long lost friends that had been missing for nearly two weeks- familiarity and control.
sixteen days was enough. not for life, but for now. it was intense. it felt like i was gone for a lifetime. i cried more than i had in a long time and had one too many panic attacks. but i also left this experience with unreal memories, new best friends, an adoration for espresso, a selfie with christopher columbus’s tomb, a maxed out credit card, and a completely full heart. until next time, spain. until next time.