Traveling, especially for extended periods of time, requires bravery as you prepare to leave certain comforts behind; the people you love, your culture, and your routine. You will no doubt face challenges as you navigate a new place, new people and potential language barriers, depending on where you travel of course.
As I stepped on the plane in Phoenix, I realized just how different my life was about to become. This is exactly what I wanted, I thought to myself, this is exactly why I worked so hard to study abroad. But part of me was scared, apprehensive and uneasy as I took off into the unknown.
I quickly fell in love with Granada when I arrived. Her windy streets, incredible views and European charm took my breath away. I was so fortunate to be here given the current situation in the world. While wowed by the physical beauty of the city, I initially felt lonely as I navigated a new social scene and living situation. I longed to hug my mom, although now separated by an ocean. I began to adjust to my new life, hung out with other students in the ISA program, and established a solid routine, although this reality still did not feel normal at first.
My time in Spain has come to an end, and I feel bitter-sweet as I write this post.
I have made some unbelievable memories, and lifelong friends in the process, grown a lot in my fourth short months here. Through traveling, you will learn to be independent, how to make decisions for yourself, and your likes and dislikes. However, one of the hardest aspects of studying abroad for me has been spending so much time away from my family. I used to video call my mom almost every day, and although I am fortunate that we can see each other, technology does not compare to physically being with people. Coming home from studying abroad was a wave of emotions, but above all I was overjoyed to give my mom a 4-month-overdue hug and be able to eat a home cooked meal. My experience in Spain has been one for the books and more than I could ever have asked for, and I will always cherish my time there.