I can’t believe that I only have two more weeks left in Madrid. The time flew by way too fast. I’m always going to remember the trips I’ve taken and the people I’ve met. I’ve gotten much closer to the other students in my program which was something extremely important for me at the beginning of my time here. They provide me with a little taste of home but we can also learn together and share our experiences. Although we do speak English with each other (speaking Spanish for several hours a day can be exhausting) we also incorporate Spanish when we’re out and even in our group chat. As expressed in my previous blogs, I believe it’s important when travelling to try your best to speak the country’s native language as much as you can.
Becoming closer with these other students has also given me incentive to take more trips outside of Madrid because this means I’ll have someone to go with me. During our first week here we were introduced to an organization called “Be Madrid”, that works with students who are not from Madrid by organizing economically friendly trips and activities. I have taken advantage of this organization and am very grateful for them! Not only are these trips cheap but they’re also a great way to meet people outside of your program and from countries all over the world. Two weeks ago I went to Valencia through a trip organized by Be Madrid. The bus was filled with people from all over. A large group of Italians were sitting next to me on the bus and were absolutely hilarious. We sang with them the whole ride down. At one point of the trip I wanted to see how much I could understand Italian so I had an entire conversation with one of them (him speaking Italian and me responding in Spanish). I was able to understand basically everything and it felt awesome. It made me realize how crazy language is and how grateful I am to be bilingual.
This past weekend I went on another trip organized by Be Madrid to Cuenca. I had no idea that this city even existed but I’m so happy that I went, even though it was just a day trip. Our tour guide was great and told us the history of Cuenca as we walked around the city. He somehow managed to make history both interesting and funny (who would have thought…sorry history majors). During this trip I was also able to have conversations with people from all over the world including: Panama and Holland.
I always come back from these trips feeling accomplished and happy. Now that the weekend is coming to a close I have to start mentally preparing for another work week. Excited for the new challenges I will face and the new lessons I will learn from my coworkers and the residents of CAR de Vallecas.