Well I’ve been back in America for a week now, friends. My time abroad and underwhelming amount of blog posts have come to a close. I think that means I’m supposed to write some big reflection (also I’m just bored right now) about everything that’s happened these past four months, how my life has changed, how I’m fluent now (well…) and what not so here goes nothing. You really can’t sum up this type of thing, but here are a couple things I learned throughout the semester–
-Whenever you think a tattoo is a good idea. Wait a month.
Maddie and I were about one glass of wine away from getting a tattoo (sorry mom and dad) but then we waited on it. A month later we decided that getting the symbol of Sevilla (NO8DO meaning “no me ha dejado” or the city has not left me) which is featured on all sewage drains and modes of public transport in the city is probably not the greatest idea.
…We settled on matching bracelets.
(you’re welcome mom and dad)
-Sometimes you just have to suck it up and be Deb.
The Spaniards for whatever reason could not understand or pronounce the name Libby. So I spent the majority of the semester going as Levi “como los pantolones” or Debbie, another fan favorite. No matter what my name was for the day, there was always something exciting about walking around with a Starbucks cup labeled Debbie or being completely anonymous.
-When wine is cheaper than water, you order the wine.
I don’t care how dehydrated you are, you will drink that stuff and you will like it.
-You can make anywhere you love a home.
At first I didn’t think it was possible to feel at home in our cockroach infested 12 x 12 apartment room, but when you love a place enough, anything can feel like home. Whether it was our spanish roommates welcoming me home with a serenade of the Frozen soundtrack, chanting “Leeeeeby” as I walk through the door (wouldn’t be opposed to you guys starting that here) or spraying the roaches– I somehow always felt at home, even when I was 4,342 miles away from my real home. In english, there’s a stark difference between the words house and home. But in spanish there’s only one word for both and that’s casa. That’s exactly what casa numero cinco and Sevilla was for me.
-I will probably never be fluent in Spanish.
I dropped the idea of becoming fluent as quickly as my bank account started to plunge. If you think you’re going to go abroad and come back 100% fluido then I suggest you say adios to that idea and add google translate to your bookmarks bar.
(don’t worry mom and dad, this semester wasn’t a complete wash… I’m close and I’ll get there one day)
-There’s no shame in sprinting through an airport or train station.
It’s okay to get lost, miss flights/trains/buses, book flights for a month later (sorry again mom and dad) and just generally mess up. These were some of the best memories. Well I wouldn’t exactly say my whole Prague mishap (refer to a few blog posts prior) was a favorite, but it was a memory nonetheless.
-At the end of the day, the most important thing is who you’re with.
Before I went abroad I read an Ernest Hemingway quote that says, “never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” I mean, I guess I wouldn’t say I love my program directors Oscar and Antonio or my Moroccan host sister, Yousra… but when you’re stuck in the Bologna airport for 10+ hours overnight you better love those people.
That’s all the wisdom I have for now, but don’t worry I’ll be back to Europe again soon and maybe that time I’ll get the tattoo. As for now, I’m safely back in Minnesota with my roomies (mom and dad), spending my days going to shrub gardens, making friends on the public bus and getting way too excited over hot showers and speaking English. Alright enough of this reflection, I have to get back to the Bruce Jenner special.
Until who knows when,
PS I still don’t know whether it’s spelled Sevilla or Seville