After 12 days of traveling non-stop alone, I finally got some time in Madrid, and it was the best! The traveling was wonderful, but being alone, problem-solving alone, and always having to be on was exhausting. After the requisite 2 days post-travel of being a couch potato marathoning Brooklyn 99, I emerged revitalized and ready to enjoy Madrid again.
I started running around the parks in Madrid, going to the rose garden in Arguelles with some friends, eating copious amounts of baked goods, and enjoying my already payed for lodging and dinners again. It also meant getting back into Spanish – something I thought I had been doing well, but not being in a Spanish-speaking country makes it hard to really practice. I hadn’t seen my host-family in two weeks and it took some adjustment; I had to fight the urge to hermit in my room, and push myself to enter into conversation again, as well as adjusting to having 6 people in a house again.
The best thing about coming back to Madrid was that it felt like coming back home. I’m still surprised when I feel that, but it feels so nice. I miss Texas and I miss the familiarity of A&M, but feeling connected to Madrid and comfortable here makes me think I could live in another country for more than a semester, more than a year. I wish I had more time here, I wish I had done a year abroad or taken a gap year, but this semester has been wonderful. I’ve made friends from all over the world and from A&M – even though I’ve spoken English more than I had anticipated, I don’t regret it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten as close to my friends from A&M and would’ve felt more lonely.
The highlight of April was definitely the lunch we had together. It was almost all the A&M kids and a couple of other girls. We all made something for lunch – salad, pasta, bread, dessert – everything you could want from a meal. We all ate together and talked and laughed and before we knew it, 4 hours had gone by! It was the best, it was so fun and it felt like home. It felt like Thanksgiving in Madrid.