74,880. That is (approximately) how many minutes I have been in Spain. For those of you who don’t feel like doing the math or don’t have a calculator handy, that amounts to 52 days. And, having been here for 52 days, I am quickly approaching the halfway point to my study abroad experience. After an initial rough adjustment to a new way of life, the time has been flying. I cannot believe that my experience is almost half over, but I am very satisfied with what I have experienced and learned in the last 52 days.
First and foremost, I am proud of the improvement of my Spanish abilities. Now, I can fully understand my host mother and there are a lot less blank looks (on my part) at the dinner table. Additionally, the mealtime conversations have thankfully gotten much less awkward, I even find myself thinking in Spanish a large majority of the time.
I am thankful for the many experiences that I have had over the past 52 days. I have had the chance to familiarize myself with the city of Granada through long walks and exploring countless museums. I have also travelled to the beaches of Portugal and spent time soaking up the sun and surveying the unique grottoes that line the shores of the Atlantic. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Madrid and Toledo. In these cities, I delved deeper into the culture of Spain by visiting the royal palace, spending time in art museums, and enjoying authentic Spanish food. Perhaps my favorite cultural experience was attending a Real Madrid soccer game. It was an incredible experience to witness such passion for soccer firsthand!
But perhaps the most important thing that I have learned over the past 7 weeks is the importance of time. First and foremost, I have learned how imperative it is to budget time. With homework, classes, traveling and wanting to make the most out of this experience, time management is essential. For me, this means watching less online television. But, I will have plenty of time over winter session to catch up!
I have also learned how fast time flies. It seems crazy to me that my time in Europe is half over. While I do miss many things about home (ice cream, my bed, giving tours at UD, fall, and my family and friends), I know that I will be home before I know it. I am looking forward to the next 57 days (82,080 minutes, in case you were curious) and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for me! So while the next two months will be busy, I know that I will have many great stories to tell and pictures to show when I return home in December.