I hope all is going well for my faithful readers. I am sorry I have not posted the past few weeks, I have been super busy with school and that’s obviously my priority. The good news is that there is a break in the storm, and my family is here to visit! My dad and two younger brothers have made their way across the pond to see how life has been treating me so far in Spain. This is going to be a two part blog post, one pertaining to this past weekend in Barcelona and the next about our week in Madrid and the south of Spain. Without further adieu let’s get right into it. Continue reading →
After being in Spain for a month and some change, I’m really starting to feel at home. I’ve seen a considerable amount of Madrid, gotten familiar with the public transportation, and have become friends with some of the local students. I love this city so much and it has been nothing but great to me. Living here has helped me grow so much as a person, and the obstacles I’ve faced here have only made me stronger as person. This weekend I was presented with a unexpected challenge that has taught me more than anything else so far.
Hello everyone! This week I’ll be switching things up from soccer and instead talking about some of the major highlights of my first month living in Madrid. It already feels as if I have been here for a lifetime. I have made so many new friends, seen so many beautiful places, and grown more and more as a person every day. Reflecting on this past month, I have done so much that it would take me days to tell you all, but there are a few moments that I would really love to share with you all. I’ve started my classes, taught a class on how to speak English, saw Picasso’s “Guernica” and had my twenty-first birthday! Continue reading →
So remember last post when I said that I would go more in depth into going to games here in Spain? Well if you were dying to hear about it like I imagine you all were, you’re in luck because now’s that time. Continue reading →
Any avid soccer fan will tell you that Madrid is currently a hub for world class football. The cities two largest teams, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have recently enjoyed success on not only the domestic league of Spain, but also on the largest stage in European football, The Champions league. Continue reading →
That’s it. In what seemed like five weeks rather than five months, my semester in Spain has come to an end. Early Friday morning, I embarked on my 28-hour journey back to Honolulu. Returning home was certainly bittersweet, as I’m always thrilled indulge in my favorite Hawaiian foods and reunite with my family and friends. However, something just didn’t feel right. Although I was technically heading home, I also felt like I was leaving home behind. Seeing the skyline of Madrid one last time as my plane took off was heart-wrenching, as I really don’t know when or if I will ever return to Spain. When you live in another city for an extended period of time, it becomes a part of you. Being abroad has taught me that I can call a city other than Honolulu home, despite the major differences between the two cultures. Continue reading →
This week marked the last full week of classes at SLU-Madrid, which has ended this chapter of my semester abroad. I am officially no longer a student in Spain, and don’t know if I’ll ever will be again. It’s certainly bittersweet to realize this, as I know that I will naturally miss the friends and routine that I established here, but look forward to returning to my social life and extra-curricular activities back at Marymount.
With just two weeks left before I return to the United States, the academic realities of studying abroad have begun to hit as all of the “fun and games” come to an end. I can hardly believe that in the past 5 months, I’ve been to nearly every major region in Spain, and traveled to five new countries on two different continents. Now, I am currently bracing myself for my four final exams in the coming weeks that I have yet to prepare for.
This week was sadly our last week of the Community ESL program at my university. On Monday, a “graduation ceremony” was held for all of the students who enrolled in a class this semester. Continue reading →
In Spain, Semana Santa is recognized as the holiest week of the year. Processions are held in every region of the country, commemorating the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. Plaza de Cristo Rey, the once bustling roundabout where my flat is located, resembled a gravesite at the start of Semana Santa.
The Easter holiday is celebrated quite differently in Spain compared to the States. Never once did I see ads for Easter egg hunting or photos with the Easter bunny. Rather, the processions during Semana Santa consist of floats, parades, and street celebrations that portray each stage before Jesus is resurrected on Easter. The ginormous floats are carried on the backs of dozens of volunteers and paraded down the streets for hours. Continue reading →
Life’s unexpected surprises and circumstances is truly the best part about being alive. A few weeks ago, my best friend Kaleigh booked a flight to Madrid to visit me and my roommate Carla! Kaleigh was my freshman year roommate at Marymount, and the three of us have become inseparable ever since. Carla and I were devastated when she decided to leave Marymount at the end of her freshman year, but our ongoing friendship has ceased to dissolve.
This has been my first weekend in Madrid in a little over a month, which definitely made me realize how fast time is flying. Earlier this week, my friends and I finalized our plans to visit the south of Spain for Semana Santa (Holy week/spring break), which I’m so excited for. Thus, having a free weekend to recharge and unwind before doing more traveling next week has been so refreshing and invigorating.
This weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Morocco, a country in Northwest Africa. I traveled to Morocco with a program called City Life Madrid, which organizes weekly excursions to different cities in Spain and to other countries for university students. I was thrilled to visit a new country on an entirely different continent for the first time. In addition, I was even more excited to reunite with my Moroccan friend Sadeq, who studied abroad at Marymount last semester. Continue reading →
This weekend, my friends and I visited the Las Fallas y La Crema festival in Valencia, a coastal city about 4 hours east from Madrid. Valencia has been my favorite city to visit in Spain thus far. It is nationally known for being the city where paella originated from, and is also a city with a very lively and passionate ambiance. You can hear the bellowing cheers from Valencia CF soccer fans and hear exuberant performers on every street corner.
Before attending the festival, we had the chance to visit La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a grand aquarium and science museum with a contemporary design in the heart of the city. The structure vividly reminded me of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, which was quite unique and distinct from other major structures in Spain. Continue reading →
Throughout my semester abroad, I’m surprised to be learning more about myself and my culture than ever before. Over time, taking advantage of opportunities that I would’ve been too afraid to do back home has allowed my confidence and judgement to flourish with each new experience.
This weekend, I traveled to Ireland on my own to revisit County Kerry, where my paternal family is from. Before boarding my flight, I began to feel so anxious and apprehensive, as I realized that I’d be spending the weekend in a new country where I knew no one – had I officially gone mad? Probably, but I knew that this trip would teach me more about a different aspect of my identity and contribute to my personal growth. Continue reading →
Last night, I experienced something that I have been continuously warned about while living in Madrid – pickpocketing. My iPhone, university ID, and Metro card were all stolen from my purse in a matter of seconds. My stomach instantly felt like it had dropped from the Empire State Building when I became aware of this – I couldn’t believe that I had been so oblivious. Waves of panic, anxiety, fear, and anger surfaced as it hit me that I was in a foreign country with no source of communication, no student ID, and no way to get back to my flat that evening. Additionally, with a trip planned to Ireland next weekend, I will assumingly be traveling without any means of communication if I am unable to find my phone. Continue reading →