It’s been about a week since I’ve landed in Seville, and I’ve had many experiences that I can’t express enough through words. Walking through Plaza de España and Maria Luisa park feels like a movie scene with all the orange trees lined up and the beautiful art and architecture everywhere. It is one of my favorite places in town, but certainly not the only one!

On the Welcome Week that the ICS organized for us, we rode on horse buggys in the early evening hours. I felt like a princess being given a private tour around town with her exclusive group of friends. We rode past monuments and down quaint streets towards a sunset that lit up the sky, and that’s when it hit me: This is the life I will be living until May. The pinterest board I’ve been making for so long about Europe is finally coming true, and the feeling of wanting to come to Spain for the longest time has finally become a reality. I still can’t believe that I’m out here with friends and sharing these amazing experiences with great people. The little things, such as going out for tapas, and walking around the neighborhood in the sunshine are what I love the most. For anyone that’s reading this, the tapas you can get at restaurants are the best dishes to get while you’re here. They’re so flavorful and fresh, and because they’re small you can eat more of them!

This week I’ve learned a lot about the history of the city of Sevilla, about the cultural differences compared to America and about myself! One thing that really caught my attention right away is that people here eat bigger portions of food for lunch compared to dinner, and tend to take a siesta afterwards. I really like how the house goes quiet around 2 – 4 pm and even the stores close around that time. I thought that was super funny. A difference I truly appreciate is that Spaniards tend to focus more on spending time with friends and family than always being on the go. It’s very mellow and I love seeing how families, friends, and even one particular group of moms I know eat together for lunch. It’s very wholesome. Another difference surprisingly is the electricity. It is amazing how expensive electricity can be over here. We tend to not be careful or mindful about the amount of water and electricity we use in the U.S, so now I have become much more conscientious turning off the lights when I’ve finished using them and running only the exact amount of water I need. These are things that you don’t usually read in a book or on a website and can only learn them if you experience them. It’s fascinating seeing how different cultures can be!

There have been some ups and downs during my first week in town, like getting lost with no connections, or getting blisters from all the walking! There have also been times where I wasn’t feeling the best because of overthinking everything. But I’ve found out that you have to take a step back and breathe and tell yourself that everything will be ok. And it will be!

Sometimes I walk around the Maria Luisa park by myself listening to music to feel more grounded. I’m very glad that this park is close to my homestay because it will definitely be my place whenever I need fresh air and time for myself.

I do miss home very much, but I’m always thinking about the positive side of this trip: There is so much to learn and to enjoy. This is my first time in Europe and I want to live my experience fully. Sevilla is a beautiful, romantic city and I am excited about everything that is yet to come.

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