Thursday, November 20, 2014

Down the road..

Wow.. So I haven’t written in a while.. But that’s because I’m truly enjoying Spain! There has been so much going on, I’ve been a bit busy to write. So here’s what has been up with my study abroad:
The first couple of months, I was having trouble assimilating with the culture and truly enjoying it, I was just thinking about home and how much I miss it and everything I didn’t really like about here; I guess you can say I was at a “depressed”/homesick stage. It was a subtle depression just caused mainly by homesickness and some problems that were going on back home that I had no control over! But basically I just wanted to stay in my room all day and not do anything, my roommates knew each other from back home so they would always hang out and sometimes I felt left out, etc. I was just pretty antisocial at times. I felt bad about that, because I really wanted to enjoy everything and I was momentarily happy! But I still felt this weight on me. Another thing, since I’m studying abroad in Europe, you better believe most other students studying abroad are doing a lot of traveling! Most of my friends pretty much had almost every weekend booked to travel to different countries, cities, and such. I did not come here planning nor budgeted to travel, but once you see everyone else traveling you realize how easy and economic it could be! But since I did not plan to travel I did not have enough for my budget, and only being able to choose one country to travel to instead of 10 (per say), I was disappointed. That had me down for a long while as well, being mad at myself for not planning better, etc etc. But after 2 weekends of traveling to two different cities in Spain, I realized how tiring it gets to travel every weekend and how much you miss sleep! So little by little I started to make peace with not being able to travel and am actually very happy with it now, because I’m in MADRID! I need to explore here as much as I can and try to get more assimilated, since I am living here and all. Also, many of my friends that have been traveling all these weekends have told me they wish they didn’t because they realize that they have not spend any time here and wish they had- so that made me more happy with my decision/circumstance.

Everything was starting to look up! We received a new housemate from Guatemala who is doing her Master’s here and she’s only 3 years older then me. We got along from the second we met, and I showed her around much of Madrid and we quickly became very close! She is the reason I started going out, and she has mended any tension that has been going on with us other housemates, and she is just like me! We have many of the same interest therefore we like to go to the same places, meet great people, and have many laughs. I think that’s what I needed- good company that made me feel less alone. So since then I have also started becoming closer to my other housemates, going out more, doing what I have to do to get what I want!

My new housemate Lucia!
One of my happy places! Parque Del Retiro

In that sense, there are about 7 little cafes/ work places in my street alone that I have been wanting to visit. I have now visited most and am so happy I did! It may not seem like a big deal but it is just something I’ve been wanting to do since I first got here and never brought myself to do it. But now I go on a daily basis to do homework, and honestly it is my happy place and one of the things I’m going to miss the most when I leave. I also have a passion for music and have been meeting so many musicians here and planning out jam sessions and going to jazz clubs and having so much fun! It has relit my dreams to sing in public cafes and such. I am truly grateful for that! 

On another note, I did travel to one other country and that was Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am so glad I chose that as my place because it was truly magical! Everything about it was so beautiful and not really what I expected! So many friendly people and beautiful sights to see; I would love to go back. I think it is also just the trip I needed to really appreciate Madrid because when I came back I felt like I was home. 
I am totally loving this city and am so happy to be here and really think this is going to be a life-changing experience! It is bitter sweet to leave and I think many will agree when I say just when you’re getting used to it, you have to go! I am excited to see me family for the holidays though but I feel like I have made a family here too and am gonna miss it!!! 
Singing at a jazz club

p.s: What Kri and Melissa say about the stages (honeymoon/enchantment, homesickness/irritability/anxiety, assimilation/integration, etc)  is totally true! But the length of each stage depends on the person! Just try to make the best out of every phase.

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