I was 17, on spring break, when I went with my high school Spanish teacher and a group of twenty students to tour the north of Spain. I had already taken five years of Spanish in school and my parents had decided that I earned the trip for my senior year. I didn’t realize it then, but if I hadn’t gone on this trip I doubt that I would have ever started traveling. We arrived first in Madrid and continued on to Segovia, Burgos, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona and ended in Barcelona, all in ten days. It was an exhausting trip but it opened my eyes to the world and for this experience I am eternally grateful.
When I entered college, I had no idea what I wanted to study but I knew I had to study abroad and go back to Spain. I planned to travel to the south of Spain, in Sevilla, since I had already seen the north. Studying abroad was the best four months of my life and I often daydream about my time there. I love the city of Sevilla, where the people are friendly and the city resonates positive energy from every winding street. I tell people that if they want to experience the real Spain, the one that you imagine with bullfighting, tapas, wine, flamenco, clubs, sunshine and a relaxed pace of life, Sevilla is the place to be.
Finally four years after I had studied abroad, I was able to go back. I had graduated from college, was working and I had saved up some money. I went to Madrid, back where it all started, through an exchange program where I stayed with a family. I taught the children English in the mornings and traveled around the country on the weekends for the five and a half weeks I was there. The family was so kind and generous that it made it very difficult to leave.
Spain is a place that I will keep going back to and I would like to retire there. I’m enamored by the culture, food and sights and someday I hope to own my own vineyard in the hills where I can enjoy the peace and comfort in my favorite country and live happily ever after.