I am already halfway through our program, with only a couple of months left in this beautiful city. I still remember the time I arrived, feeling overwhelmed, having language barriers, and not being able to communicate effectively or even knowing where to go. And now, I could order food in restaurants comfortably, talk to strangers in the streets, or even be able to have daily conversations with my host mother. Through this short amount of time that I’ve been here, I’ve grown so much in many ways. There were many problems along the way, but I could make it through, and there were always people next to me when I needed them.
So much has happened within these past few months, filled with beautiful memories. Around the end of February, my friends and I traveled to Switzerland just for a couple of days, and I am so glad that I went. I never really thought about visiting Switzerland, so I thought, why not go since I would never think of going there by myself. Switzerland is one of my favorite places to visit because of the beautiful scenery and the most genuine and sweet people willing to help or care for the people. Words can’t express how much love I feel for that country, even though I was only there for a short period. After I came back, I realized how stepping out of my comfort zone can lead to much greatness that you wouldn’t know until you are there physically. I used to be so worried about my finances because they are minimal, but I’ve changed my mindset. Travel is worth the money spent.. Experiences from travel are either lived or not. If you miss that opportunity it is probably lost for ever. Changing that mindset was difficult, but it felt liberating, and now I enjoy travel more than ever.
Through the ICS cultural trips I’ve also gone to multiple locations in Spain, such as Córdoba, Itálica, Granada, and Ronda. Granada is by far my favorite city after Sevilla. We had a tour of Alhambra, the best preserved Islamic palaces in Andalucia. I loved the art and architecture of it as well as the fascinating history of how this city was taken over by Christians later on, which became the end of the the Islamic era in Spain. After the tour, we had free time, and we discovered the city on our own. My friends and I met new people, which I hadn’t unexpected, and even more remarkable was that we later discovered Granada nightlife with them. It’s fascinating how when you travel you can build connections with people from totally different backgrounds. Our visit to Granada will always be a story I will tell to my friends and family back home.
I have made so many memories within these two months that I have been here, and all of them are filled with warmhearted people and unique cultures. I am nothing but grateful for the opportunities our school has provided thus far and for the wonderful friendships that I’ve made here. I still have a couple more months in Sevilla, and I am excited to see what more is to come and to the adventures I will have! Little by little, I can slowly tell that I am growing by being more open-minded about life in general. Being here has been a journey that I needed to experience in order to remind myself of who I am and most importantly, who I want to be,. The first step was perhaps the most important: stepping out of my comfort zone.