Today is my last full day in Spain. Early tomorrow morning I will be en route to Berlin to travel with my father who I have not seen since December. As excited as I am to see him, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sadness as I pack my bags and say bye to what has become my world. As I emptied my drawers I felt strange. Why am I emptying the drawers of my own home? It just did not feel right. Living in Spain has not felt like a temporary bubble, this really has become my life and leaving it never to return is beyond shocking. It will be strange being in Germany where I cannot speak the language, or do not know any of the customs. Though of course that is similar to how I felt before arriving in Spain and I am eager to learn about German culture. But goodbyes are beyond difficult. From my host family, to my teachers, to my friends. All I know is that I don’t want to leave.
On a more uplifting note, some highlights from the past few weeks include Madrid and Covadonga. I went to Madrid last weekend with two of my best friends who I also had not seen since December. I found the people in Madrid to be very friendly and accomodating. Our first day we rowed boats in the beautiful Parque de Buen Retiro, and walked around to explore the city. One day we took a day trip to Toledo, a small city filled with small stone buildings, and filled with religious history of the primary Abrahemic religions. I also finally tried Paella! And our last day we visited El Prado Museum as well as tried porras, which are similar to churros though I found them to be much tastier.
This past Tuesday I took a day trip to Covadonga. As none of my friends were able to go I took off by myself. However, when I arrived at the bus station I saw someone from my program who I had only spoken to once before but decided to say hello. We ended up spending the entire day together and I just wish we had met sooner. In Covadonga I visited a basilica as well as some ancient caves. The highlight for me however was taking a taxi up to the most magnificent lakes. They were truly beyond breathtaking, and I am glad I gathered the courage to go despite the fact that I thought I would be alone.
I am beyond grateful for my time here, and only wish for more. Sometimes I feel like Spain has made me an entirely different person, but in a good way: More confident, more independent, more myself in a sense. As much as I will miss everything, I know I’ve made great friends who I will be in touch with. And I know that I will return to Spain one day.