When in Madrid, I’ve happened to meet a grand number of people. Different countries, different backgrounds, people I’ve never known before in my very own city of studies. It’s been endless hellos and bittersweet goodbyes, in which I know I’ll probably never see them again.
People have always fascinated me in the sense that every single person you meet brings just a little something into your life that wasn’t there before, even if it’s just the memory of encountering them. Being in Madrid has only further facilitated this in my life as the diversity of tourists, residents, students, and many others is so much more vast than back in Gainesville.
From the very start, I met the Spaniards in my homestay that I now absolutely adore and get to learn the lives of everyday — the Spanish doorman in my apartment complex that always smiles as he says “hasta luego mi niña,” as I come in and out throughout the day; the other students I met from Auburn University that have been some of the most genuine people I’ve met during this short time and that I still talk to today even though they left Madrid in June; a new friend from Arkansas that I went to Pride with, which I’ll never forget; Spanish professors and directors at the University of Nebrija which made going to class feel more like something you do for fun, rather than a responsibility; people I’ve met from all around the world (like Italy, The United Kingdom, Morocco, Ireland, France, countries in Latin America, and so many more) during our nights, going out; not to mention the people I have met from UF that I’ve probably walked past on campus many times before and never even knew, that I grow closer with everyday.
From stories of classes, nights out, friendships, and what I guess what you could call small summer romances, I feel like this is some sort of dream or movie. You can’t have either of those without all of the important characters. I think when preparing for study abroad, like many other people, I truly underestimated the power of people in this experience.
A little piece of advice I want to offer to anyone who reads this and studies abroad, or even just for life in general: let people into your life and take in what they have to offer. There is no better learning experience than the words of others, whether you agree or disagree with what they have to share with you.
We all live in the same universe, but we all have our own interpretation of this universe, where the universe thrives within us in different ways.
Until next time,