After being back in the States for a few days, there are definitely a lot things that I took for granted such as:
and a few others.
However; despite not having the previously stated things, I absolutely love my Study Abroad. Even though, I had the privilege of going to Salamanca with my high school, I didn’t understand or appreciate all the culture that was available to me. Not to mention my Spanish was severely lacking compared to what it is now. I am still processing my experience but now I definitely know that I loved the opportunities I was presented everyday in Spain. I definitely lucked out living with a host family with Chad. Bibiana and Salvatore were the best host family I could’ve asked for. Not to mention the food was beyond incredible.
Every single night after we would finish eating, we would stay at the dinner table and have the most incredible conversations with each other completely in spanish mind you. That was another thing! Neither Bibi or Salvatore spoke a word of English or Catalán (thank jesus) but it required Chad and myself to use our skills and not cop out of the opportunity to have a conversation. They weren’t basic conversations either. Most nights we would talk about our cultures, the US, our life goals, what we were studying, life at JMU, politics, movies, our families, hobbies, past experiences, pretty much everything. I was even impressed with myself.
My hope is that as I start getting accustomed back to life back in the States that I don’t lose my Spanish skills that I acquired. Definitely my listening comprehension has improved dramatically. And after a few more opportunities of speaking, I was having conversations left and right with my host family and with my professors as well.
Coming to Spain of course gave me the opportunity to learn about another culture and open my mind. It gave me an appreciation for Catalunya and the language spoken here as well as the many traditions and history that go unnoticed by the rest of the world. I’m sure I will add onto this later after I’ve had the time to internally process everything thoroughly.
I do know this for sure, after living abroad for a month, I can definitely see myself living in europe sometime in my life. I also know now more than ever that the Peace Corps is calling my name. Now that I have Spain checked off the list, I can only hope for another adventure sometime very soon.
Next stop Africa!