This blog comes a lot later than planned but nevertheless, it is here now and that’s all the matters. I’ve only been back in the UK now for 1.5 weeks and I’m already heading back to Sevilla on Friday to start by second round of time there. I’m having an incredible time in Spain and I am loving it a lot more than I ever thought I would. Although it is incredibly hard to deny that there have been tough moments / fleeting desires to pack it all in and come home – it has been unforgettable. This year is escaping me so I think it’s only best to keep track of everything I’m doing, achieving, seeing and learning whilst in Spain for the year. It makes the most logical sense that I break this blog post into sections. So, let’s recap!
In terms of travel, I definitely feel as though I have done exactly what I set out to do, if not more. When I left for Spain back in early September, I said in my Year Abroad Bucket List blog post that I wanted to travel every two weeks. Well, I certainly achieved that, if not more. I visited a gran total of 7 places Malaga, Cadiz, Cordoba (part 1 and part two), Granada, Ronda, Lanzarote and Paris and they were all incredible (well, perhaps aside from Málaga but we won’t go into that one again). Although it’s cost an arm and a leg, I’m so glad to have done it and I’m definitely going to continue travelling into my second semester. It’s made me realise how big Spain is and how many beautiful places there are to see there. I’ve just booked a trip to Lisboa in Portugal for myself and I’m planning on visiting Madrid, Jerez and Ubeda (and I’m sure a couple others along the way).
I must admit, all of this travelling around Spain has made me very eager to travel around the UK when I get back in June. If there are amazing places in Spain, surely there must be equally as incredible cities in my country.
Has my Spanish improved? Very good question. Well, I speak Spanish everyday; in my flat, at work, out and about in restaurants, bars supermarkets etc. and to the Spanish friends that I’m starting to make now. But, I do honestly think my level of fluency depends on the day. Some days I have really good Spanish days in which I talk to my housemates about something funny that happened in my day, but then again, other days I cannot even form a sentence in the future simple tense to ask my colleague if they’re using Aula 5. Generally, I like to think it’s improved but the test will come in 4th year when I see if my marks have improved or not. I’m making an effort to watch Spanish films when I can at home, going to the cinema and I’m even making progress with my Spanish book (El niño con el pijama de rayas – I’m on page 80 after 4 months… slowly but surely). I just stole a new Spanish book off Jessie called Como Agua Para Chocolate so I’ll be reading that after I’m done crying at the Boy in Striped Pyjamas.
When I get back to Sevilla, I’m going to make a point of actually studying Spanish, making a note of all the vocabulary I pick up day to day instead of relying on my mind to remember it and study a lot of grammar.
Aside from learning a lot of Spanish and a lot about myself (which I will not be going into in this blog post I’m afraid!), I feel like I’ve changed a lot as a person. I’ve become a lot more confident socially and also confident of my abilities. Having been in Spain for 15 weeks now, I know I am a lot more capable than I thought I was before, in all aspects of my life. Living in a different country with no friends and no family really makes you realise what you can do by yourself. In the same vein as this, I feel as though I have learnt how to deal with situation a lot more calmly and perhaps normally/rationally. Before, I wasn’t very good at dealing with stressful situations etc. (like waking up 30 minutes before my flight etc. – let’s not talk about that now!) but now, I’m definitely beginning how to cope as a fully functioning adult who isn’t flustered in awful situations. Above all, I feel like I have become a lot more independent. I travelled alone to Málaga, I’ve booked to go to Lisbon alone in February and I’ve just become a lot more comfortable with doing things by myself (going for coffee, going for walks etc.) – which I love!
Thanks for reading this short little blog but I wanted to keep a travel of everything I’ve been doing as a point of reflection in months to come.
Keep an eye on my blog for lots more travel blogs and a couple more blog posts on my Seville Series!
See ya x