I am not really sure how to put my experience so far into words. I think the best way to describe Málaga is that it feels like home. I traveled to Sevilla and Granada the past two weekends, and I found myself missing Málaga both times. Spain is a beautiful country, but Málaga has a unique energy and a rhythm that I fell into easily.
My roommate, Chelsea, and I live right off of the main street in the city center; Calle Larios is always bustling with people. In the morning there are students headed to school, at mid-day people are shopping and stopping for lunch at one of the numerous cafes, and at night friends are meeting up for dinner and drinks. We go to at least one intercambio (language exchange) a week, which is a great way to practice your Spanish and meet locals! A woman came up to me at the university our second week of class and asked if I spoke English. Since then, Chelsea and I have been meeting with her every Monday and Wednesday during our breaks between classes to help her learn English while also improving our Spanish. The opportunities to improve your language skills are EVERYWHERE!
I cannot write an introduction to Málaga without mentioning the beach. There is no better way to relax than soaking up the sun after class or on the weekend. On the way to class in the early morning, our bus passes right along the edge of the water and the sunrise is mesmerizing. There are always people playing soccer or running or swimming at the beach; it isn’t difficult to spend the entire day there.
I came to Málaga because of the beach, but discovered so much more than that. There is a culture rich with history, and the locals are proud of their values. I appreciate their smiles and friendly gestures and how they focus on friends, family and living a full life. Without a doubt, that is the reason why Málaga feels like home.
In honor of Pablo Picasso‘s 132nd birthday on October 25, (he was born in Málaga, and there are many celebrations going on this week!), “Everything you can imagine is real” — Pablo Picasso.