A 7+ hour flight gives you a lot of time to think. However, I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to a nice person on the plane that I spent a lot of time getting to know. Though I was able to ease my mind while on the plane, I had been feeling very emotional beforehand. You know how some people say their life is like an emotional rollercoaster because there are highs and lows? I would compare my feelings to the “Frog Hopper” ride. There were no points where I was in between, starting to feel a certain way; there were only highs and lows. I either felt really excited or really nervous and upset. And believe me, until I got on that plane, those feelings were bouncing up and down.
I arrived in Madrid safely and got to the hotel with no problem, mostly thanks to the man sitting next to me on the plane that guided me through everything until I met with IES staff. I know that I already love Madrid. Recently, I was in New York City and I can say that Madrid is different. There are less people here, at least from what I’ve seen, and I’m not worrying about bumping into everyone. Also, I can breathe here. The air seems a lot cleaner.
I’m surprised by the amount of English here. Literally everything in the airport was translated into English. I’ve spent the majority of my time with other students studying with IES. It’s so easy to fall back into English because of that, so I haven’t spoken much Spanish and probably won’t get to unless I really make an effort. I have spoken some with store employees and IES staff members, but some of them start to respond in English as well.
I’ve been very busy with orientation and will continue to be pretty much until October. Classes in Madrid start later than in the United States but IES will be keeping us busy. I am homesick, but I’m also really happy that I’m fulfilling a dream I’ve had since middle school: going abroad. I want to thank everyone who has shown me support. I feel very blessed to be here.
Below is a video of my first day abroad. It’s in Spanish but there should be automatic English subtitles. If not, click the “CC” button. Until next time!