Granada, Spain, is where I found myself and it is all thanks to CEA giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of traveling the world. Being bilingual did have its perks while abroad in Spain, because aside from learning and perfecting my Spanish in class, outside of class is where I got to use what I learned and converse with locals. The friendships, culture, nights with my friends where we laughed till we cried, the traveling, the love and so much more are just a piece of what I experienced in my time abroad. I’ve grown in many aspects and have seen and experienced things I have never thought I would or could. It was really my home away from home, especially because of my host family. It’s a bittersweet feeling to think I left my family and friends to study across the world.
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” - Lin Yutang
Reflecting on it now, the worst habit I had while abroad (and hopefully this will be of useful information for those of you reading this) was that I was and still am a picky eater. The first day I arrived to my host family’s home, it was around noon and my host mom offered me a slice of fancy cheese, because cheese is eaten a lot in Spain. Of course, I accepted and ate the cheese and was quickly surprised by the explosion of new flavor going into my mouth. I was not ready for such a change so quickly into my study abroad experience, but I soon adapted to it all.
Throughout my time abroad, I traveled to various countries, trying all kinds of food simply because I changed my mindset to trying new things -- especially food. By the end of my study abroad experience, I did adapt to most of the food I ate, but now that I'm back in the States, I miss casually walking down the streets of Granada to go eat paella, or just snacking on a slice of fancy cheese.
Considering it was my first time traveling outside of Texas, let alone traveling to the other side of the world by myself, studying abroad was definitely a game changer for me. Leaving all I’ve ever known for a whole semester opened my eyes to new and exciting things, including the food, traditions, holidays, and so much more! There is so much the world has to offer, and so many beautiful places that I am forever grateful I got to visit. Returning to Texas and my family was also much needed, but now that I have seen part of the world, I want to go back and see the rest of it.
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