Last year when my roommate brought up the idea of studying abroad together I was pretty skeptical and honestly unsure if it was a good idea. Life was good in Louisville and leaving it behind just did not feel right. I eventually gave in and it wasn’t until my plane took off that the realization I was actually studying abroad hit me.
Fast forward to now and it is safe to say Madrid feels like home. The realization of this first hit me after spending a weekend in Ibiza and despite having an awesome time, I couldn’t wait to return to the familiarity and ambiance of Madrid. While my friends and family aren’t here, technology makes it easy to stay in touch and snapchat and twitter are easy reminders that UofL is pretty much how I left it so I should have no shame being away and making the most of my time in Madrid.
Being here I’ve obviously had to adapt to some cultural differences but I’ve gown to enjoy them and can already tell adjusting back to life back home may be a struggle. For example, life moves at a pretty slow pace in Madrid. Whether at restaurants or walking down the streets, everyone is relaxed and being prompt is not a priority. My friends and I joke about showing up places at Spanish time often because if we agree to meet at a certain time, we usually do not show up until 10-20 minutes after the agreed time. Another cultural difference I’ve grown to enjoy are mid afternoon naps called siestas. During this time a lot of local stores and offices are closed and barely anyone is seen walking the streets. Of course one isn’t obligated to sleep during this time but you might as well since what you’re anticipating on doing will probably be interfering with someone else’s siesta time.
All in all I’m thrilled I choose Madrid to study abroad. It truly feels like a home away from home, and I hope to return again after my study abroad experience is over.