It’s true what they say, that once you travel to one place that the travel bug comes to bite you, and then you just have such a strong desire to see the world. This happened to me three years ago during my first abroad experience in Germany. However, this experience wasn’t simply an organized trip with a bunch of sight-seeing. Instead, each of one us lived with host families for an entire month and lived as Germans do. This unique experience truly had an impact on me and made me realize that travel must be a part of my life.
Since Germany, I have traveled to Bolivia in South America, which was an eye-opening experience, and now I am here in Madrid. Three months sounds like a long time, but I feel like I just blinked an eye and now I’ve only got two weeks left. Sometimes it’s a challenge trying to balance exploring Madrid and traveling, especially with working full time. However, since it’s already been three years since I was able to leave the U.S. and I’m going to be graduating college in two years and will hopefully have a job, I don’t know the next time I’ll be able to travel like this. Therefore, I feel like I have to take advantage of the fact that I’m here in a beautiful country and a continent full of so many different cultures and world wonders.
In Spain I have traveled to Cuenca, Salamanca, Avila, Malaga, Toledo, and Barcelona. Madrid is located smack-dab in the center of Spain, so these trips allowed me to really explore and enjoy what they had to offer. However, I have always dreamed of visiting Paris and Rome, and I also wanted to experience a taste of these countries’ culture, so I also traveled to these cities.
Both of these trips were absolutely amazing and I was amazed at everything I got to see. However, I was in each of these places for about a total of a day and a half each. While I don’t regret at all going, I really wish I would’ve been able to spend more time there to really experience the cultural differences. The other problem is money. Unfortunately my internship is unpaid, and the weekends are obviously the most popular time for travel, so it’s not the cheapest either.
For some, traveling means going to a new place and looking at the most popular historic landmark just so that when you go home you can say, “Oh yeah I’ve been there and I saw that,” but for me, it’s much more than that. Traveling is an amazing opportunity to change, grow, and adapt.