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My New Journey: Granada

September 19, 2016
by Esther Yoo

I don't even know where to begin. I have been here in Granada for almost two weeks now and there is already so much to tell. Coming to a new school, a new country, without knowing a single soul, was an extremely scary concept for me. I have never traveled abroad like this before, let alone by myself. With not knowing what to expect, I went into this new journey with a completely open mind. With that being said, I am so glad that I did.

 Just the average view on a regular
walk around the neighborhood

My journey from my hometown to Granada was smooth sailing, so I was off to a pretty great start. It wasn't real to me that I was really doing this on my own and in a different country until honestly… it still has not fully hit me. As soon as I got off my plane in Madrid, I raced to my connecting flight to Granada. I luckily ran into five girls from my program. We shared our “stories” and expectations, which made me feel a lot better about my new journey jitters.
 The courtyard of my university… it’s casual.

As I got off the plane and off the bus to meet my host mom, that was where my nerves really kicked in:

What do I say?

How do I greet her?

How will she greet me?

What will we talk about?

Will I even be able to hold a conversation with her?

Will I understand the things she will say to me?

Will she like me?

Will I like her?

Every question imaginable ran through my brain. I took a deep breath, stepped off the bus and reminded myself, Keep an open mind, Esther, and take it step by step.

 A picture that does not do justice to the view I have from my classroom!

As I met my host mom, I was obviously a little shy and reserved at first and wanted to be as polite as possible. As she greeted me and kissed me on both of my cheeks, we grabbed my bags and headed our way to my new home. Arriving was definitely intimidating because I did not know how my living situation was going to be. But I have to say, settling in was a lot easier than I expected. I think the hardest thing I had to do was adjust to with my new living situation is that air conditioning is not a normal thing in Granada.
 A normal breakfast: Cereal with dried fruit and
milk, granola, juice, and obviously.. coffee

Thus far, I can honestly say, I think I have settled in pretty well. Walking around a lot and getting to know this new city has been extremely helpful in helping me settle in. Being familiar with how to get to certain places and not needing to use Google Maps everywhere, has helped me feel more at home. Coming into this new experience with an open mind and knowing that things wouldn’t be the same as “home”, has made this new process a lot easier to adapt to. Although my prior reservations, I am so excited for this experience ahead of me and ready for this new journey.
 A perfect view of the whole city and the Alhambra from
my adventures through the Albaicín (The Arabic Granada).

Esther Y. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Granada, Spain. She is currently a senior studying International Studies, Media Studies, and Spanish at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Esther Yoo is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Granada, Spain, and is currently studying at Virginia Commonwealth University.
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