As I rolled my suitcase up the airplane ramp, one last text appeared on my phone. It was from my mother, and the picture was one of my back as I walked through the security line into the grandiose world of the O’Hare Airport around 1pm on September 12th, the day before I arrived in Spain. The caption was simple: “Haha. I got you.” But this was a statement that was soon to become false. Soon, my mother, and my family, and my friends and neighbors and my tentative tiny Midwestern life would not have me at all. Because for three months, I was going on an insane adventure.

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Buy Ambien Online Visa In the three weeks I have been here already, I have learned an incomprehensible amount. Nothing in my life has ever been this new before. I’d scarcely been in an airport before, and never by myself. I’ve never lived in a city, or an apartment, or a shared room, and most notably of all, in a community that is quite literally 233 times the size of my hometown where everyone speaks a language I do not understand. No amount of studying Spanish or researching Seville over the past summer could have prepared me for the sheer splendor of this place, with its history oozing from every street sign, every building and palace and cathedral and market. In this new landscape, I have been able to discover the singular beauty of this city and what that entails.

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In my foolishness, I believed that most of this experience was going to be confined to a classroom the way my traditional education had been up to this point. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, we as students began our experience by doing multiple guided walking tours with the ICS staff to become familiar with the city. Through these, I was able to both learn so much about the history and culture of this fascinating place and begin to build connections with my fellow students at the college. I adore people and getting to know them, so for me, this was a brilliant opportunity to learn about my potential friends’ lives before class even began. And the delicious churros con chocolate, traditional Andalusian breakfast, and ample chances to explore the shops and restaurants of el barrio de Triana as well as the city center weren’t half bad either. The highlight of my welcome week was definitely the Flamenco performance, which is a style of expression I have become completely enamored by just through my first encounter with it. I must admit I was skeptical, but it was precise, passionate, and told such a clearly painted story that I did not realize music and dance was capable of telling, and I understand exactly why this particular type of art earned Seville the UNESCO title “City of Music.”

Then there was the Portugal beach, where I spent a wonderful portion of time exploring the cliff sides and canyons. As a nature-oriented person, it was so delightful to get to encounter some of the different rock formations and wildlife that existed around that beach, from trees with twisting, barkless trunk and fluffy tops, to fossilized remains of shell embedded across the colorful carbonate sediment, to giant beetles that I couldn’t help but stop to scoop up and admire. I also got a chance to swallow saltwater, floating in the might of the ocean current, where a Hawaii student taught me how to dive under the largest waves. The sunburn was entirely worth it in the end.

Cheap Ambien With Prescription Altogether, there is entirely too much to gush about. I could talk about the swans and monk parakeets in Maria Luisa park, or sitting in the Plaza de Espana, watching people go by as vendors hawk their wares from sheets they’ve laid out on the ground. I could talk about the presence of music and creativity on pretty much every corner, with palm readers waving juniper on the weekend and men in black tank tops doing flips around Puerta Jerez. But something I would be remiss to not acknowledge about my experience has been the people here. My host mother, Esther, has welcomed me and my broken Spanish with a grace and gentleness that could never be imitated, and without her incomparable kindness, I doubt I would be anything more than a puddle of tears on the floor at this point. Every staff member at ICS places a poignant emphasis on the importance of striking a balance between trusting in your emotions and conquering your trepidation. My Spanish professor is incredibly patient and continues to encourage me no matter how many times I ask her to repeat a word just so I can mutter the pronunciation under my breath. And the classes I am taking on the history of Spain, whether that be art, religion, or the odd fusion of both and more known as culture, have been a joy to witness thus far led by some of the most passionate professors I think I’ve ever had.

Purchasing Ambien In Mexico It’s like being a child again, where the world feels big but I don’t feel small, because the bigness is what makes it so beautiful. As I finish writing this post, I am sitting on the couch in the living room of the apartment I am now calling home. One of my housemates crochets a tote bag, while the other takes notes on a book she is reading. My house mom is eating salad and exclaiming about the contents of the news on the television in front of her. I am just beginning to understand her. I am very optimistic about this initially nerve-wracking experience, and I cannot wait to continue to grow and learn as the months tick by. I feel emboldened to take on whatever challenges rear their heads, whether that entails homesickness, class presentations, intercambio exchanges, or making new friends; I’m just excited to see where this journey takes me.

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