With just over 2 weeks left here in this beautiful city, I wanted to share some things that I already know I am going to miss when I return to the U.S. and some things that I know I won’t…
Things that I will miss:
- My host mom- Number one on my list because María Ángeles is the number one person I will miss when I leave Sevilla! She is so caring and kind, and just an adorable human being. I am eternally grateful for her kindness and hospitality during my time here in Sevilla. The first month or so I was here our meals were not very conversational- we talked about what happened during the day but that’s really it. Now, however, almost every night everyone is sharing laughs about a story of something stupid I did or having a conversation about the world news. I also am really gonna miss her cute little smile that she flashes even when she doesn’t say anything at all :’)
- The food- It is so good! When I first arrived, I was expecting to feel sick of the food after the first few weeks, but that is 100% not true. The flavors are really not crazy and I really appreciate having home cooked meals every day. Luckily, my host mom has taught us a few recipes that I can bring back to the U.S. and attempt (key word is attempt) to make at home.
- The ability to travel not only the Sevilla and Spain, but also how easy it is to travel Europe! How many people can say they can pay less than $100 and be in another country experiencing a completely different culture? I feel so extremely grateful to have these opportunities. Being able to travel to different areas of Spain allows you to realize which aspects of Spanish culture are truly Spanish and which aspects are regional (the Andalucian accent or Spanish architecture, for example). Also, I love living in Sevilla because just when you think you’ve seen it all, you come across a cute new coffee shop or a historical building that you’ve never seen!
- My friends- I am so grateful for the opportunity to have met new friends during my time here and I am going to miss them so much when I leave! I have met people from all over the country… and the world! This is something new and cool to me because even though I met a lot of new friends when I first went to college, most of them are from the East Coast or NY like me and share similar experiences. Also how cool is it to be able to travel the world with your new best friends?
- The beauty and history of everything around me – Yes, the United States has beautiful sites and cool historical things, but the United States of America has been its own country for less than 300 years. Spain has so much history as a whole and Sevilla in particular does as well. For example, the University of Sevilla is older than the U.S. The Torre de Oro (“Gold Tower”) next to the river that I pass every day on my way to school served as a defensive tower during the Muslim reign in the 10th century. The beautiful Gothic-style cathedral in the center of the city houses Christopher Columbus’s remains (kinda gross, I know, but still really cool). These old, historical masterpieces throughout the entire city of Sevilla and country of Spain help give it its rich culture and provide it with eternal beauty. Definitely something I will miss when I leave.
- Walking everywhere- By walking 30 minutes, I can get pretty much anywhere in the city. My own two feet are my preferred method of transportation because I am able to stop and see things along the way, it is reliable, and also I know I am getting exercise even if I only leave the house once that day.
- Speaking Spanish- I am so happy to have the opportunity to speak and practice my Spanish with native speakers. I really feel like I have improved, and even if I haven’t, I at least have gotten more comfortable speaking with natives. I am going to miss speaking Spanish once I go home especially because I will not be taking any Spanish classes at my college in the spring semester. Also, there are some small little phrases that I almost always say in Spanish, even when speaking in English on the phone with my mom, for example, that I want people to understand, but they will not once I go home.
- Siesta- 3 hours of the day dedicated to resting… what’s not to miss about that…?
Some things I will not miss:
- Walking everywhere- As much as I love the ability to be able to go anywhere in Sevilla within a 30 minute walk, it can be really inconvenient. I love the neighborhood I live in (los Remedios), but most of the shopping and stuff like that is all in the city center, you guessed it, 30 minutes away. Our school? 20-25 minutes depending on how fast I’m walking, which is a nice way to wake up in the morning, but almost 2 hours of my day is spent walking back and forth to school. I will enjoy driving when I go back home.
- A lack of respect from other citizens- I mean this in a couple different ways (I couldn’t quite think of how to phrase it lol). One way is being so obviously American and being judged for it. I sometimes don’t even open my mouth and the waiter at the restaurant starts speaking to me in English. (At first I thought this was so weird, but I too now can spot the Americans walking down the road… still annoying nonetheless) Another way I mean this is when I am walking down the street behind someone (or a group of people) who is walking slow, they see me walking like 6 inches behind them, and still don’t move over to let me pass. Similarly, when I am walking head on towards a person and one of us has to move…. it is always me! I mean like if I don’t move they will walk right into me and not apologize. Okay and lastly the drivers… the streets in Seville are pretty narrow but most drivers don’t care and will find a way to fit down there anyway, which often means almost hitting pedestrians by shoving them to the very side of the street. And don’t even get me started on the motorcycle drivers, they don’t look going around the corner, so you have to be EXTRA careful crossing the street. These are all very stupid and minor problems, but to me are very annoying.
- Siesta – Yes, I do love siesta, but it can be very inconvenient when all the stores close for 3 hours each day and on Sundays. The middle of the afternoon and Sundays are often times when I am looking for something to do, but unfortunately that can’t be shopping because the stores are closed!
As you can see, the pros of living in Sevilla highly outweigh the cons and there are many more things I will miss when I leave. I know that the minute I leave I am going to start planning and saving every penny so I can visit this beautiful city again. I already miss Sevilla and I haven’t even left yet!