It is hard to believe that just a couple weeks ago I was still in Spain, it feels like much longer. The day after arriving back in the United States, I spent a couple weeks at the ocean and then in New York City. My life flipped back to “normal” way too quickly after my time in Spain and made my experiences there feel very distant in such a short span of time, almost like it was all a dream. I cannot even begin to explain to people back home what my life was like back in Valladolid; incredible, wonderful, and amazing do not do it justice. I can show photos and videos of all of the people I met, places I visited, food I ate, but nothing can come close to my own memories. It was extremely hard to leave the people and things I became so familiar with in Spain. One day I’m eating morcilla at a café with my friends, and the next I’m at Tim Hortons with my parents (FYI you really can’t take the Tim Hortons out of a girl).
The growth and confidence that came from my time in Spain is exponential. Forming relationships with people who often times do not share a spoken language with you creates a deeper bond beyond words. Between my host family and friends, I gained such a unique and powerful insight into life in Spain, which I’m forever grateful for. The fears and concerns I had coming into this trip quickly became obsolete- the scariest part of living in Valladolid were the street cats that ran across my roof at night… they sound much bigger than they are, trust me!
Since returning back home, I have already made plans to return to Valladolid this year and explore more of Spain. I have incorporated my favorite Spanish dishes into my everyday meals, while wearing my futból jerseys, of course. I missed the cuisine so much that I visited Mercado Little Spain in Manhattan last week, which is an authentic Spanish restaurant opened by Spanish chef, José Andrés. I ordered my favorite dishes- arroz a la cubana, morcilla, and chorizo!
I have gained so much from this trip and urge anyone who is considering traveling to Spain to make sure they’re prepared to have the time of their life! I cannot wait to continue my Spanish adventure in the near future and create more experiences with old and new friends!