After four flights I finally made it home. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to travel abroad. Not only was it one of the funnest experiences of my life but I also feel that I learned a substantial amount. My Spanish improved at a faster rate than it ever has since I was required to use it to get around not just when I felt like it. Looking back I am really glad that I went on the Madrid tour. It allowed me time to adjust to the time change without having to be in school it also allowed me to make friends before I started my program so I did not feel so isolated when I started classes. The tour was also very fun! I feel more independent now. I navigated a foreign country alone for a month and I feel like I can conquer just about anything now. I was also very introverted before my trip and I can tell that I have become far more outgoing now and am more willing to put myself out there. I am so glad that I did this. Like I said before too I made some amazing friends on this trip who I plan on visiting! More excuses to travel which I have absolutely fallen in love with!
This weekend we made a weekend trip to Alicante to visit some of the friends we made during the Madrid tour who chose to study in Alicante. We took a night train there and back so we saved money by not needing to get a hotel for those two nights. It was also nice since we had plenty of time there. It was beautiful in Alicante and we went during the San Jose festival so the entire city was decorated and celebrating by lighting large Bonfires in the streets. The fire department is present so it completely safe. Alicante is more similar to the type of city you think of when you think of Spain. It is in the desert and is super hot. I really loved it there and it was so great seeing their city. I was finally able to wear some of the shorts I packed since San Sebastián is so much cooler. Alicante is also bigger so there are some bigger chain stores that San Sebastián doesn’t have. Although, San Sebastián does have one of the largest Zara’s in Spain. Alicante also has some beautiful beaches too. We spent almost a whole day on one of them. While I really enjoyed my time in Alicante I do not think I would have enjoyed a session there as much as I do in San Sebastián. San Sebastián is much easier to get around and Alicante was a little too hot for me. However the further in Spain you travel the nicer the locals are to tourists and they also have the flamenco dancing!
The city of San Sebastián completely exceeded all of my expectations. It is a stunningly beautiful city with so much to do. They have three beautiful beaches, located right next to the Pyrenees mountains, plenty of hiking trails, there is nightlife, and it’s close to a bunch of other gorgeous cities you can make day trips to. There is something for everyone. Tons of outdoor things to do and plenty of shopping and great restaurants. I made some really amazing friends who have so many similar interests as me. I originally did not believe people when they told me the friends I would make here would be with me for the rest of my life but it is definitely true. We are already making plans to visit each other. The classes are interesting and challenging yet doable. I am learning a lot and not just in class. Interacting with the locals allows me to be fully submersed in Spanish where it is easier to learn. I do not think I would have felt this same way about taking a Spanish class in the United States. I was also able to take a surfing class while here. It is so much fun learning to surf and the instructors are all super helpful and friendly. It’s also been a nice way to meet other people in my program. It’s going to be hard to stay good bye to this city and these people. I am so glad I did this. It was worth every penny I spent on it.