So, after four weeks in the prettiest city I have ever been to, my time living in Spain has come to an end. It makes me emotional thinking about living back in Philly, since Madrid is a city that has made me so happy to be in every single day. I am sad that this once in a lifetime trip is over, but there were so many amazing moments to recount.
I first have to talk about the classes I took at Nebrija University. They were so wonderful, I haven’t enjoyed myself in a class setting this much since high school! Our teachers made the class insightful yet amusing, the only thing I dreaded about classes was how early they started (like did we really need to be there at 8am everyday??). Our professor, Carlos, was hilarious, and our other teacher Sandra was the sweetest (and prettiest) woman I had ever met. It was so great taking classes with students from other countries, I really bonded with a girl named Clara from China. She was hilarious, and saying goodbye to her made me tear up. I really hope I get to see her again.
The school offered so many different activities for students to immerse ourselves into the culture and bond with other students. My favorites were the dance classes and day trip to a local vineyard. I was so thankful that the staff put in to much effort to showcase their wonderful city and country to us.
Exploring the city was my favorite thing to do. I have talked so much about the shopping areas the city had, I don’t think I need to boast about them anymore. My favorite day there was when my friends and I went to a rooftop pool– seeing the landscape of the city while relaxing in the water was such an amazing feeling! There were other rooftops we visited to take pictures, and I had so much fun at all the nightlife spots.
There were so many delicious restaurants we ate at, I’m craving the poke bowl at Sushi Shop as we speak! I was surprised that there were numerous Ecuadorian restaurants throughout the city, and it warmed my heart to see my friends enjoy Ceviche and Mora milkshakes. We had Tierra Burrito almost every week day, a delicious Chipotle variation that was so quick and easy to grab after class. Villa Capri was an aesthetically beautiful restaurant with amazing pizza. Goiko had amazing burgers and chicken sandwiches, and I am going to miss eating at Tiki Taco so much.
We took two different trips to different parts of Spain– Barcelona and Valencia. Barcelona was a typical tourist area with great food and fun nightlife. It was nice staying at an AirBnB away from the student dorms. Billy Brunch was an amazing restaurant we found there, which was way better than their Madrid location. If there wasn’t so much construction, it would have been a perfect weekend getaway. We went to Valencia for a beach day, and it was well worth it. The water was amazing, the local neighborhoods on the docks were so pretty, and it was the most relaxing day I had.
One thing I loved about the Spanish culture was how affectionate everyone was to their loved ones. Couples were so carefree with their PDA, which is something that would be weird in America, yet felt so natural in Spain. It made me think about how I’d want to act next time I’m in a relationship, empowering me to want to be shameless with my love in the future. Even with families, children would embrace their parents without embarrassment. It was heartwarming to see how happy everyone was with the people they loved.
The biggest takeaway I will have from this trip is to really be present wherever you are. Especially nowadays when everyone is so glued to their phones and taking cute pictures (which I obviously did over there), it is so important to really take in your surroundings and cherish them. Being in a city that had beautiful buildings and ambiance made me happy to be in it every second. Just walking to class put me in such a great mood, and I loved taking in every sight I’d seen. I am going to miss Madrid more than I can describe on this blog, and I will hold every memory I have close to my heart. It has been such a blessing to be able to recount my trip with this blog, and I hope it inspires readers to visit this glorious city. Till next time Madrid, I will be back.