We all know that feeling of finally being settled in and knowing where you are going. I personally get great satisfaction from achieving this feeling, particularly here in Madrid, a foreign country, a foreign language, foreign foods, and yet… it almost feels like home. But not quite. Yet, I know that when I leave in the next few days, I am going to miss it. The delicious tapas. The now familiar partial understanding of people talking around me. The all too crazy and awesome metro! And all of the wonderful sights and cultural things I have encountered in my 2.5 months in Spain.
That being said, I tried to make the most of my last 10 days! Here’s what I did:
Day 10: Showed my friend Ibrahim around!
Day 9: Went to Retiro for Sunset
Day 8: Picked up Lauren from the airport for our fun packed weekend!
Day 7: Retiro Boating and Flamenco
Day 6: Paella Lunch, Real Madrid, etc.
Day 5: El Rastro Shopppingg
Day 4: Dinner with my Landlord
Day 3: Faro de Moncloa and Tapas with my friends
Day 2: Tapas with Amber
Day 1: Program Finale
At the end of these 10 days, I was very emotional. I wasn’t gong home quite yet as I was visiting Lauren in Ireland for a week, but I had most of my stuff packed up. I kept counting down my lasts…. my last metro ride, my last time seeing Nebrija, my last croqueta and tapas run, my last time going to the Simply grocery right across the street…. the list went on and on.
At one point I was talking to my friend Ibrahim, and he asked me if I would consider Spain to be “home”. My first home is and always will be good old Tampa, FL. It’s where I’ve lived most of my life. My second home is in Gainesville, where I ventured out and lived alone for the first time in my life, where I’ve studied, where I’ve made some of my greatest friends and learned more about myself than I could’ve ever imagined. But Madrid, Spain would definitely make the list at number 3. Living in Madrid proved to me that I could take on the world. That I could live in a place where I wasn’t fluent in the language, that I could appreciate and love a different culture with different foods, social practices, transportation, etc. That I could live thousands of miles from home and still be OK. (I honestly missed my family and Chris SOOOOOOO much…. couldn’t live that far for forever).
For those 3 months, I was a world traveler. I would even consider myself a sort of honorary Madrillean!
I LOVE MADRID. I love Spain. And I am dead set on returning and bringing every single one of my family members with me so that they can understand, love, and appreciate the Spanish culture and lifestyle just as much as I do. But, for now, I will have to settle for attempting to cook them a Spanish feast and playing Spanish music on YouTube while I do it. 🙂
Hasta Luego Madrid, cause I’ll definitely be back soon!