Study Abroad, Life, and Travel

“Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más.
Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar.”

“Traveler, it is your footprints that are the path, and nothing else.
Traveler, there is no path, a path is made by walking.”

This verse from Caminante (Traveler) by famous Spanish poet Antonio Machado, perfectly describes my time here in Salamanca. I have been traveling around as much as I can, both within Salamanca and other parts of Spain.

The more I stay here, the more beautiful this place feels to me. As I walk along the banks of Rio Tormes, I see people of all age enjoying the sun, having picnics, fishing, and enjoying their time. I spend most of my evenings on a bench just next to the riverside, often with a book, enjoying the read as well as the view. Sometimes just trying my best to indulge myself in a conversation with locals, though 50% of it still goes straight over my head. But their patience and eagerness to learn more about students like me leaves me in awe. I am not even sure if I will meet that person the next time, but they want to know about me, my home, my studies, and everything. While some might find it a little nosy, I take it as their openness and friendliness. I not only enjoy the company but get to hear different stories, and also realize how much I need to further work on my Spanish.

At the end of March, Spain celebrated Semana Santa (Holy Week) where various processions were carried out in different cities. While the festival carries more importance in the Andalucía region of Spain, the processions were also of a grand showcase in Salamanca. Thursday to Sunday are the major days of the festival. As I traveled to northern Spain, I missed the main days, but the procession on the previous days were no less grandiose. I felt a different spark and energy as I stood in the streets to watch the processions.

The different festivals and culture are a great experience while on study abroad. It is really interesting to read about these topics in class and be able to experience them firsthand. As I mentioned in my previous blog, this experience is so much beyond learning a new language. The professors, coordinators, and people I met have made my experience much better, and I can strongly advocate that study abroad is an experience not to be missed. My photos and blog might not do justice to my learning, traveling, making memories, and exploring, but trust me, this experience is wholesome.

Mukesh Bastola is a student at Soka University of America and an ISA Photo Blogger. He is studying with ISA in Salamanca, Spain.

Author: mukeshbastola

Travel Enthusiast, International Studies Major (C/O 2024), Nepal, enjoy clicking photos IG: @mukeshcaptures

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