And by here, I mean April! How in the world is it already April? I know that blogs should not be the place to pour out your feelings, but when I think about only have a month left, I get very very nostalgic. I have loved this semester more than I ever dreamed possible. The life I am living here cannot be reality… I truly feel like it is one sweet dream. I have come to grips with the fact that no period in my life after this semester will ever be as independent and free and with such little responsibility. But now, I have only one month left. Honestly, I don’t think that when I get back I will say “Oh Lydia, why didn’t you savor each moment more?” Why won’t I be able to ask myself that? Because I truly feel like I am enjoying each moment to the fullest. Even if the moment is just me sitting at home studying (rare moment, it’s true) with my host mom, I love it so thoroughly that I do take the time to appreciate it.

Okay, that paragraph was dramatic. BUT IT’S TRUE. If I could, I would race back uphill in this slow slide downwards to May and do it again.  It would be so nice to be like the movie “About Time” with Rachel McAdams and be able to choose days to relive. I would do it, for this semester.

April was so sweet.  I am beginning to feel a lot more confident that:

  1. I am actually retaining the Spanish that I am learning.
  2. I am not behind in classes here.
  3. These Aggie study abroad people are going to be my friends for a long time (s/o to you people #blessed).
  4. I am actually an efficient traveler.
  5. Being away from Madrid isn’t the worse thing ever, but
  6. I never want to go home.

So, here we go.

1. I am actually retaining the Spanish that I am learning. 

When my parents were here, I had to translate for them…. a lot. It was amazing for me! All of my life, my dad told my brothers and I that if we became fluent in any language, he would pay for a trip for us to visit a country that spoke that language. All of my life, I tried to have conversations in Spanish around him, but it would never go in my favor. Maybe the waiters spoke so much slang that I was hopelessly lost, I wouldn’t know a question to ask, or I was simply too shy to speak up. Regardless, he never saw that I could speak any Spanish before I came to Spain. This was my chance to actually show my parents that they paid for this trip and it was helpful for Spanish also! Throughout their 2 weeks here, I had countless conversations in Spanish in front of them and I felt so much more confident when they left that I truly was retaining some Spanish from this!

 

2. I am not behind in classes here.

Easily explained: I felt like I was behind in my classes, but I’m not. This might seem like a silly thing, but with so much traveling and playing this semester, I felt sure that there was no way I was doing all that needed to be done for these classes. As it turns out, Texas A&M is a school of exceptional excellence and has trained me to do a lot more work than Spanish universities do. After asking around a lot this month and reading all my syllabi again, I realized that I really was on top of my classes. Hooray for traveling without feelings of guilt as if I should be studying more! Woe to me when I return to the courseload of TAMU, though.

Florence #views

3. These Aggie study abroad people are going to be my friends for a long time (s/o to you people #blessed).

After a month of hanging with the Aggies here, I was unsure how sincere these friendships would be when we returned. We were all so different! However, we have all had some very deep conversations with each other at this point, and there is no turning back from here. I am thrilled that we were all able to get so close this semester so that we will be able to have friends to share our experiences with when we return. That truly was a fear of mine before coming, that I would make friends from across the world, none of whom would be in College Station with me to share in missing Madrid when we were home. The thought of running into one  of these fools while walking around Wehner is the best! I know it will be so fun to share life back in College Station together. Tapas night, coming in hot for ya Cstat!

P.S. This month I also went to visit my brother’s best friend from his study abroad with REEP! His friend lives in Barcelona, it was the best! The pic below is of us with the Sagrada Familia aka fav church ever:

 

4. I am actually an efficient traveler.

I doubted my ability to really travel well before I came. I thought that I would probably be irresponsible and late and forgetful and all of the things that make you not a great traveler. In fact, I am a great traveler! I have learned so much this semester about how to travel well. I know how to travel with very little money and very little time. I can travel by myself or with people, and I know that it doesn’t take a lot of money to travel. There are always ways to travel for dirt-cheap, if you know how to look for them. Take the bus, buy your food from grocery stores, stay in hostels… All of these things are completely doable if you want to travel for super cheap! For all the times that I almost missed a plane or bus… I only missed one 😉

5. Being away from Madrid isn’t the worse thing ever.

This sentence is only relevant if you consider going other places in Europe. If you are talking about returning to the states, well… We’ll talk about that next 😉 About halfway through this semester, I was so sad that I had booked so  many trips that brought me away from Spain. Even sometimes places in Spain that weren’t Madrid I would be a little sad about. We were traveling so much that I didn’t even have time to prepare for each trip, I would only have time to go to class and then get on another plane. This month, something changed in my heart. I began truuly enjoying the trips. I think it was when I became confident that I was actually learning Spanish that I realized I should enjoy traveling more. I was still going to learn Spanish even with the trips. This month, I went to Italy for a week for our “Semana Santa,” or “Holy Week”, or Spring Break. 😉 It was the best! We spent a few days in Florence, Naples, and finally Rome. Since I’ve been dreaming about this trip since the beginning of the semester, I am so happy that I got over my Madrid home-sickness to be able to enjoy that week to its fullest.

This picture is of my favorite Frutería here! It’s right next to my apartment, and the guy who owns it always gives me free strawberries as I pass each day through the little window!! His name is Nasir… Yesterday he gave me a heart shaped package wrapped in a grocery sack and told me I wasn’t allowed to open it until I got back to the states 😉 Wonder what it could be?? #chocolatesssss

6. I never want to go home.

Dramatic? Yes.

True? ….Yes?

Here is the thing: can my friends and family come here? Can chick fil a and american filtered coffee come here? Because then I would be set for the rest of my life. Yes, this is a formal invite to all of those things. Please make your way to Madrid ASAP.

HERE ARE SOME PICS OF ME IN ITALY FOR SPRING BREAK WOW IT WAS THE BEST: