An absolutely spectacular time in Spain!

An absolutely spectacular time in Spain!

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- by Rebecca Summit

This past summer I spent three weeks in Cadiz, Spain. It was my first adventure to Europe, and even my first out of North America. I had high expectations for this long-awaited trip, and for the most part, I think that my expectations were met.

Spanish culture was so interesting to see up close. The more relaxed way of life was fascinating, though I am one that loves to keep moving. My second day in Cadiz, I told my host parents that I was going to visit a friend at the beach and that I would be back for lunch, which was typically at 3 every day. I hadn’t figured out the bus system yet, so I walked the thirty minutes to my friend’s hotel and didn’t start to walk back to a quarter to 3. I ran the last quarter mile and was still 10 minutes late. No one noticed that I was late.

Getting used to things not happening at the set time took a few days to become a custom to, but it was just a significant difference in culture.

My host family was very nice and tried to be accommodating with my food preferences. A little warning; in Spain, at least with my host family, the food is a bit more fried and salty than in the Pacific Northwest, I am used to. There was deep fryer on their kitchen counter that was used every day with fish and other foods. For only a few weeks I could stand it, but know that you may be craving a un-salty salad and other fresh foods that we are used to in the Northwest.

The most difficult part of the trip was getting lonely, especially in my first week when there were no other Americans. The group of Irish girls was nice, but not that inviting. I got through it, though, because I was prepared with plenty of books and other activities. There are so many adorable cafes in Cadiz, and in the rest of Spain that I saw as well. I took my book their every day or went with a sketch pad and pencils, and just felt kind of like a local would wandering around to those spots that I had gotten to know.

The highlight of my 3 weeks was definitely the weekend excursions! We went to Sevilla, Tarifa and Vejer on the three Saturdays I was in Spain. It was so much fun to see these beautiful places with the group and then to have time to wander a bit. The second two weekends, there were other Americans and a French girl that became my good friends for the two weeks that our time overlapped.  Here is a picture of them with me on my final night in Cadiz, when we stayed out to our curfew and adventured for my last time.

I had an absolutely spectacular time in Spain! I learned a lot about the Spanish language and culture, independence, and about how to deal with unknown circumstances. I greatly encourage you to look into this program and to see if it is a great fit for you!