I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve been in Spain. It’s been about six or seven weeks so far, and today I had a nice, relaxing day that I took some time to reflect and read down by the river this afternoon. Since I’ve been keeping my travel blog, Snapshots in Sevilla, I haven’t been updating this blog quite as much. My apologies!
I thought I would share part of a post from my travel blog that I posted a couple weeks ago, to give you guys an idea of my time here in Spain! I made a list of what I like/dislike here in Sevilla. I hope you guys enjoy!
What I’m Loving Here in Sevilla:
1. The food! The food has been pretty delicious so far, even though it’s very different and not so much what I’m used to. I’m starting to make healthier choices, but for this past month, I decided to try anything and everything including several desserts and other yummy/non-healthy things. So it’s kinda been a love/hate relationship with some of the food, but more so love! Along the same lines, I’ve been LOVING café con leche and the orange juice here! SO GOOD!
2. My host family! I’ve been loving my living situation and my family here in Sevilla. It’s been the perfect balance between having some time to myself and having the chance to have fun with the kids and talk to Susana. I have a lot of freedom here, and a lot of chances to practice Spanish with my family. I’m hoping to get to know them better in the next couple months!
3. The history! I’ve been learning so many cool things and I’ve been seeing so many things I’ve dreamed of experiencing: ancient ruins, buildings, towers, nature and more. And everything here is so beautiful!
4. The walking: I love how walking places is actually a thing, and I am actually enjoying the 20- or 30-minute walks to class or other places around the city. Sometimes when I walk by myself I listen to music, and it’s one of the best and most relaxing things. It’s so cool to let your mind rest as you rush around the city, surrounded by people with their own schedules, wants, dreams and desires.
5. My Made in Spain class! It’s essentially a design, history and advertising class all mixed together, and it’s been great so far. Also today, he told us about a voluntary project that looks awesome. I’ll let you know about it soon, but it’s a surprise for now! I’m also love my other classes too, but some of them this week were a little tougher than others.
What I Dislike Here in Sevilla:
1. Being cold all the time! I’m sure it’s different in the summer, but I’m definitely not used to being cold indoors, but it’s getting better. Also, there are no dryers for clothes, so my clothes sometimes feel cold and I’m not sure if they’re wet or just cold. The rain is also included in being cold, but nothing is worse than being cold and wet. I’m hoping for some sunnier days here in Spain!
2. Troubles with learning Spanish: learning a new language is hard. And everyone says that going abroad really helps, and it does. But it depends on how much effort you put into it. I’m struggling with really focusing on improving my Spanish and some days it’s hard to wake up knowing that every significant contact or means of communication you make with someone needs to be in a different language. It’s hard and you’re levels of motivation go up and down from day to day.
3. Lack of nature: I miss being surrounded by large trees, green grass and ponds full of God’s creation. I love the orange trees everywhere here and the parks, but for the most part, I don’t walk through places with a lot of nature during the day. All I see are stores, buildings, churches, and cafes, which can have beautiful architecture, but I miss the greenery! I may not be much of a city person.
4. Not feeling fully myself. It’s hard to learn another language, communicate in that language and still act like your true self. For example, it’s hard for me to make jokes in Spanish or be as polite as I would like. It’s getting better, but I think when you’re in a different country, you definitely reevaluate yourself and the way you want to live. And sometimes we don’t realize how communication is integrated in who we are and how we live.
5. Meal times: It’s hard to go through the day and not have a snack or something to munch on between classes. Normally, I have to wait until 2 or 3 o’clock to eat lunch and 9pm to eat dinner. It takes some getting used to, but I’m think I’m doing better with it!
I think Sevilla so far has been a good mix of things that are more culturally “comfortable” and things that challenge the way I live. I’m really hoping to dig in deeper to learn more about this city and its people, but that will take some more courage and curiosity on my part. It’s crazy how over a month has gone by, and how quickly this experience can pass by. But with my thoughts and stories documented, I hope to make this journey last longer.