So technically I have already been “abroad” for about two weeks prior to school starting. My mother and I came to see what Spain has to offer before she left back to America. We spent one week in Palma de Mallorca (where we spent Christmas), three days in Madrid (where we spent New Year’s Eve), and then three more days in Paris before she dropped me off in Segovia to start my semester-long journey.
Palma was beautiful. I do have to admit, Christmas was very lonely, even though I had my mother. It was difficult being away from the rest of our family back home, stuck in our hotel room (as we did not have any mode of transportation to the nearest city). Eventually, we got over it the only way we knew how, eating Chicken Tikki Masala. We were not prepared for the food that is offered in Spain, nor the wine. Wine would be consumed during breakfast, lunch, and dinner if it was allowed in Spain. We began to become more accustomed to the layout of the small island, and ventured out to see the beautiful landscape. Palma is home to the world’s first cathedral, and it was breathtaking. I never laid my eyes on anything more spectacular in my whole life.
To be able to say that I attended mass inside of such a monumental piece of history is something that I never thought I would be able to say in my lifetime.
Luckily, the island was small enough that it allowed us to travel to other cities along the coasts, such as Porto Cristo and Cala Rajada. The food, and weather, at these locations were something out of a movie. I felt like I was Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love.
Not only was wine a big deal in Spain, we also found out that orange juice, and oranges in general, are a big deal. Every place we walked into offered freshly-squeezed orange juice, and orange trees were growing everywhere. Downtown, there was a plaza with orange trees all around, and we picked as many oranges as we could, trying to ignore the strange stares that were given towards us.
Our week-long trip to Palma was over and we headed to Madrid. Well, we had a flight to Alicante, BUT we missed it, not our fault I promise, and so we decided that heading to Madrid would be the best option since it is only a thirty-minute train ride to Segovia. Madrid was out-of-this-world stunning. I felt like I was in New York, and I have never been to New York. Everything and everyone was alive and moving with such determination in every step, I could not keep up. My mom and I found this to be our favorite place out of all the locations we traveled to. From the architecture, to the food, to the people in general, Madrid was definitely a location I knew that I would be coming back to frequently during my stay in Segovia.
Our trip to Paris was brief, but we managed to see the main attraction. The Eiffel Tower. I am not sure if it was because of the short stay, our sleep-deprived state, or if it was just a matter of my over-expectations, but I did not fall in love with Paris like I hoped I would have. From movies and songs it seemed like I would have “found myself” in Paris, but maybe that specific moment in Paris was not my time to find myself in its city just yet. My plan is to go back to fully immerse myself in the city, and then I will have a much more solidified opinion about it.
Going back to Segovia was very confusing for me. I was excited to begin school, scared to meet my roommates, terrified to be alone, and sad that my mother was leaving me. I had grown so accustomed to her being there every step of the way with me, that I continued to ignore the fact that she was leaving me, and it was almost as if God heard my prayers because our train ride into Segovia exposed us to the most snow we have ever seen in our entire lives, resulting in her not being able to leave the city to catch her plane ride back to America. We spent all day Sunday and Monday trying new cafes (because that is very popular thing to do in Spain), as well as just trying to stay warm. I tried my best not to cry, and even refused going to school the first day without seeing her get inside of a taxi because I did not want to see her go. This will be the longest I have ever gone without seeing my family in person, but alas. She got in taxi, and on her plane to America (she made it back safely, praise the Lord), and I made my way to class, starting a semester of new adventures.