JOANNA DIMAS- Wow! I literally cannot believe my semester abroad is almost over. Time has gone by very quickly and I know April will fly by as well. But as my time in Madrid is coming to an end, I cannot help but feel ready to go home and see my family. Thankfully I have not felt homesick, and I have enjoyed all the amazing opportunities that have come my way while being abroad. However, the reason I think I am ready to go home is because I know my stay is temporary. This semester has been almost like a vacation. I have not had to work as intensely, academics have not been so stressful, and I have been able to travel a lot. These are all things that are just not part of my life back in the States; it’s actually the opposite. I have multiple jobs back in California and Boston, school usually stresses me out to the point where I want to cry (lol), and traveling just isn’t an option. I’m not saying I miss that stressful and hectic life, but a part of me misses that routine, and that sense of familiarity. In Madrid I still don’t feel super familiar with the city (I know it takes more than four months). Something new is always happening, I still don’t always know where I am going, and I still don’t feel completely integrated in Spanish life.
In fact, sometimes I get frustrated living in a city. I grew up in a suburb in Northern California. I am not used to taking public transportation, or going out super late. Going to Tufts was a huge transition for me, and coming to Madrid was an even bigger transition from the life I had in the U.S. So yeah, having to deal with the most crowded, and stinky buses and metros after a long day can get a little tiring and overwhelming. Also, the constant need to take advantage of the Madrileño nightlife can be exhausting. Sometimes I just want to go out for dinner and explore the streets of Madrid rather than spend time at clubs. And some nights I just want to snuggle in my bed and watch movies all night. Living in this city has definitely been a privilege and I do not take that for granted, however it can feel like too much for me.
I am 100% that when I leave Madrid I will miss it, and I know that I will return to this beautiful city one day. I have met some amazing people in Madrid, and have already been offered a place to stay if I ever decide to come back ☺ It is amazing how much can happen and how much a person can change and learn in less than four months.
During the next month I am sure I will have more adventures and experience new things. I look forward to them and I will try my best to take advantage of the time I have left in Madrid. Like my mom says, I should just enjoy the present, and I will.