Out of all the emotions I’ve been feeling lately with knowing that my move to Spain is just around the corner (crazy!), excited is definitely the most prominent. I’ve been reminiscing about my previous experiences in Spain and I can’t help but base most of my excitement off of all of the things I loved about it my first time around. Here is a list of the top 5 things I’m most excited for about moving to Spain, and believe me, it was hard enough narrowing it down to just five.
1. Café con Leche: I had my first ever cup of coffee in Sevilla two and a half years ago and I fell in love. I never thought I liked coffee but I figured since all the Europeans drank it, especially for social meetings, that I needed to start. At the beginning of my semester I started off slow with drinking mostly milk with a splash of coffee. By the end, I was drinking almost straight espresso. Although I returned home to the U.S. with teeth that were a couple shades darker than when I left, I acquired a strong love for coffee, but realized that American coffee just couldn’t compare to what I had overseas. I can’t wait to return to the land of strong, flavorful, caffeinated concoctions.
2. Easy and cheaper travel: I love love love the fact that living abroad opens the doors to travel that is both easier and cheaper than travelling from the US. A weekend trip to Prague for less than $200 for a round trip flight? YES PLEASE. While I was abroad the last time, my best friend and I spent a week in Greece for around $1000 total. If we were travelling from the US, my plane ticket alone would have been more than that. All of these famous sites are just a hop, skip, and a jump away for half (or more!) of the price!
3. Speaking Spanish: Being immersed in the Spanish language again is something that I am most excited for as well as what I am most frightened about. Although I have many years of Spanish classes under my belt, I honestly don’t think that means squat. I may have reached the advanced level here in the States, but living in Spain made me feel like I had a less than basic level of Spanish. What’s worse is that I haven’t taken a class in a year and a half so my speaking skills are basically non-existent. Although I’m terrified of going over there and not being able to fully communicate, I am also ecstatic thinking about how much I will improve over the course of 10 months. I remind myself how much I love the Spanish language and how it is truly a gift to have the opportunity to be surrounded by it every day.
4. The weather: On my igoogle account, I have both my home’s weather and Madrid’s weather and it is the biggest tease every single day. Here, everyday has seemed to have been an average of 85% humidity. AKA DEATH. Fortunately I have grown accustomed to this type of weather (I guess that’s what living in the Northeast for 23 years does to a person), but there was something about this summer that was extra bad. Of course with the humidity came frequent thunderstorms. Where is the sun?! In Spain, that’s where. When I look at Madrid’s weather I see that it is sunny and nearly humidity free nearly every single day. Can you say paradise? My allergies are telling me I need to be on that Spain-bound plane NOW!
5. The lifestyle (siestas & fiestas): Basically everything I love about Spain can be summed up into this one category. The Spanish lifestyle is incomparable to anything else. It is relaxed, passionate, family-oriented, and they place the most emphasis on being happy and enjoying life. It’s that whole “work to live” mindset that we as Americans should take a few pointers from. One thing I love particularly about the Spanish lifestyle is the siesta AKA a built-in 3-hour nap from 2-5 PM every day. Need I say more? Even though many Spaniards don’t actually nap during this time, it is still a perfect time to just relax, be with your loved ones, and take a break from the day. As an American, though, I usually took part in the napping ritual since those Spaniards are extremely hard to out-party. This leads me to the next part of the Spanish lifestyle I’m eager to return to: the nightlife. There is nothing like it. Madrid in particular is known for its wild nightlife and I cannot wait to explore it more. Spaniards don’t typically arrive to the clubs until 2 or 3 AM which is later than when the bars close in the U.S.! In Sevilla, the latest (or earliest rather) that I ever stayed out was until 7 AM and the club was still open! So who knows when the bars actually close. I just hope my 23-year-old body can handle it as well as my 20-year-old self did (yes, I know how ridiculous I sound).
So there we have it. In just a couple weeks I will be partaking and experiencing all of these fantastic things about Spain and I seriously cannot wait!