Hailey's Blog

all about the world, written by a college girl

Month: June 2018

days in sevilla

hola!

the more this trip goes on, i realize the more i forget. there are a lot of times I will think to myself, “I need to write this down, I can’t forget this moment”, but then, I forget. life moves fast, and we forget. with all of the distractions in todays society, it is easy to forget the most important moments. we are distracted by taking a million pictures of everything, texting, facetiming, and scrolling through social media. I’m immune to it just like everybody else. but sometimes, it is nice to just sit and write, or simply sit down with a good book and read. sometimes it is nice to have simple distractions like these.

in the past month in sevilla, time has gone so quick. we wake up, go to class, go for a glass of wine some days, come home, eat dinner, and fall asleep. living in a city is exhausting. anyone that knows me knows I love cities, but it really is a wakeup call living in one. for some of the best, and not so best things. for example, it is hot in sevilla, and everyday we walk a mile and a half everyday there and back. it doesn’t seem far right? but 3 miles in 100 degrees can sometimes be a lot. and that’s just 3 miles to school. if you want to go get tapas, shop, or anything else, add another 4 miles. living in a city is so much different than small town norman, oklahoma, where everyone jumps in their cars for a short ride to class, or campus corner which is literally half a mile from everything.

besides this though, living in a city is everything i could’ve dreamed of, and more; especially living in sevilla. the people are so nice, the food is so cheap, and the beauty is indescribable. living here has really made me realize a lot about culture. about what we value, and what we consider things we “need” vs. what we want.

living in spain is much simpler, hands down, and i love it. the work is much more relaxed, family is so important, and they don’t need a million things to be happy.  for example, every sunday is for the family. everything is closed. the grocery store, banks, and cafes. on our street where we live, there are no cars. its simply just for walking. we come out on the balcony everyday just to see a bunch of families out, dad’s and mom’s, grandparents and children. it is the best. also, everyday we have a big lunch with our family, our host dad even comes home from work, and then after, we all take a siesta and relax. another thing, no one has 5 cars. no one has cars for everyone in their family, even if they can afford it. it is much more simpler. you walk to el centro to shop, go down the street for fresh bread and groceries, and you still hang dry your clothing. it is just so much different.  and i love it.

somedays i find myself really missing home, even counting the weeks till i get to go back, and be at school. what can i say? i love OU, and i miss my family. but the closer i get, the more i fall in love with being here. I have had to stop myself on this trip a lot, whenever i catch myself complaining about even the small things; because I am spain and I know this is a blessing, and a once in a life time experience. without my parents, and God, I wouldn’t be here, and I cannot thank them enough for this experience. I am excited to see what the next weeks bring, maybe soon I’ll try to write one of these in spanish. (‘:

hasta luego

hailey

making comparisons

hello!

so, i have officially been abroad now for over a month, and I can finally say I have noticed a change in my spanish, especially my accent. speaking spanish in a foreign country when its not your first language can be intimidating, especially when you’re a little shy, like me. thankfully though, i am finally adjusting and opening up and I am beyond excited to see what will happen to my spanish in just the next couple weeks. I only have 4 left, like what! where has time gone.

anyways, the first session of our classes is ending, and most of our friends are leaving, and I am really sad. I have found some of my best friends here in spain, and a great group of new friends. coincidentally, many of them are from texas, so it won’t be hard to have a reunion.

next week, is the fourth of july, one of my favorite holidays. although i will be in spain, I am more than okay with that. a couple of us students are going to get together and make some american foods such as pizza and hotdogs to make up for missing the holiday.

as time progresses though, i am realizing a lot more about myself, and just living abroad in general, and also living in a city. i have noticed that a lot of people on our program, including myself, make comparisons, constantly. I don’t think comparisons are bad, but i have noticed them a lot. for example, when we go to a restaurant and something reminds us of something back home people will be like ” oh, this is like what we have back home” or ” this beach reminds me a lot of the one that we have here..” and so on. comparisons are not bad, but they are something i have realized a lot.

things are different here in spain, and that is okay, it’s a different country. I love some of the things that are different here, but i also miss some of the things back home. but I feel like this is okay to be like this. anyways, I am going to finish studying for my finance final. also, this past weekend i went to lagos, Portugal and it was absolutely beautiful, here are some attached pics.

hasta luego,

hailey

Switzerland and France

hello!

this past weekend we traveled to Lyon, France and Geneva, Switzerland. and what an experience. I had been to france before, but only paris. and to be honest, i didn’t really like it. of course it is very pretty, and you have to go to see it, but it just was not one of my favorite experiences. this time, we flew into Lyon, which is a city in eastern france. and wow, did I fall in love. I went with my roommate katherine, and we met her friend ben there, who is french, but grew up in the U.S. while in Lyon, we got to explore, meet locals, and we had the best picnic I have  ever had in my whole life. his cousin, lucy, lives in Lyon. on Friday night, we met her in the park and she brought a bunch of local, french food. and let me tell you, no bread or cheese will ever to compare to that in france. lucy brought 4 different cheeses, olives, bread, meat, rosé, and pastries.

after that night in the park, the next morning we headed to geneva in a bla bla car. and if you’ve never heard of bla bla car, basically it is a super popular carpool system in europe, and honestly i don’t know why we don’t have it in the states. the bla bla car was sooo sketchy. we met up with these 2 french hippy guys, and their car was the dirtiest i’ve ever seen, and i’m not exaggerating, it was bad. apparently it is so unusual for bla bla cars to be like  this, but oh well, the guys were nice.  we were listening to french music, and “imagine” by john lennon and driving through the swiss alps; it was a wild experience.

once we got to geneva, we spent the day exploring and hanging out by the lake. that night we took another bla bla car to where we were staying , in Lausanne (aka the  most beautiful place i have ever been). once we got to Lausanne we checked in to our airbnb and we cooked some dinner. ben is from france, so he cooked us some homemade ratatouille and crepes for dessert and it was delicious. we also brought some wine in france, and made some tinto de verano with it. if you have never had tinto de verano, I highly recommend. it is a traditional drink in spain during the summers. basically its red wine on ice, then you add either sparkling lemonade, or just sparkling water if you don’t want the extra sugar; it is my favorite drink ever. but anyways, that same night, we found ourselves at a free music festival in a village. we walked up right when this african band was playing and wow was it cool. we were literally the only american’s there; it was completely local, and something I hope i’ll never forget. the next day was spent exploring as well, and the very last day, we spent swimming in lake geneva in the swiss alps, at one of the most beautiful beaches i’ve ever seen; its name was Lutry. i highly recommend. our flight actually ended up getting canceled this weekend, and we were suppose to come back sunday. we had to push it to monday; but I am beyond happy it got canceled.

picnic food

picnic food

Morocco

hello!

i am a little late to post a blog about this, but I have to write about Morocco because it was so amazing. 3 weeks ago we headed to Morocco with our program ISA, and traveled to the cities of Meknès and Fez. morocco was different than any other place I have ever been. we took a bus from sevilla to the coast, and then took a ferry from there to Ceuta. Ceuta is a little city that is on the tip of Africa that Spain owns. After the 1 hr ferry ride, we headed to the bus to cross the border. crossing  the border was one of the most eye opening experiences i have ever had. as we pulled up, there were hundreds of people from morocco lined up to cross the border into spain for just one day. they were crossing to get normal, everyday goods. there were old people, pregnant women, and kids trying to jump the fence. i was shocked. as i sat in the bus and looked out the window, privilege hit me in the face really hard.

this trip to morocco taught me a lot. even spain already has. in america, we have a culture solely  based on wanting. we cry when our iphone screen breaks, get upset when we don’t have free wifi, for heavens sake we even have wifi on all of our planes. new technology devices come out monthly, and we drive everywhere. we drive even if its less than a mile from our homes. we are privileged. and yes I know a lot  of american’s don’t have all of these things, but for the most part, we live in a culture of wanting. always wanting more. I didn’t really realize this as much until I came to spain, as well as morocco. there are so many people in this world that live off of so little, and yet are still so much happier than a lot of people with so much.

in morocco, we went to La Medina, which means old city. it is the biggest market in Africa, and wow was it cool. we went to a leather branding place, carpet shop, and a pharmacy. the pharmacy was different than you’re probably thinking though. they had fresh spices, rose water, and moroccan mint tea, which let me tell you, it is soo good.

craziest experience we had in Morocco though was hands down the arab bath, the Hammam. in Fez, some moroccan students took us to one. it was wild. all of us girls took off everything, and went into this super super steamy hot room. on the sides of the concrete room, there were little faucets. they had a cold water port and a hot one. we had to fill up our little bucket with some water, then, this lady slapped some brown gel on our body’s and it made us supper slippery and greasy. then, she called us over one by one, and scrubbed out whole bodies. it was insane, and honestly tickled and i couldn’t help but laugh a little. it was such a cool, cultural experience. on our way back from the Hammam, the call to worship came across the whole city for Ramadan. it was so cool, and all in arabic. I have never been in a country with a set religion. it was so different and just incredible to see. i am so happy I was able to travel to morocco. it really opened my mind and my eyes. this trip so far has made me change my prospective in a lot of ways, a lot of good ways.

Fez, morocco 

Medina in Fez

mint tea

fresh couscous

bienvenidos a sevilla

hola!

it has officially been about 3 weeks since I have been in Sevilla, and I absolutely love it. living in Spain is a lot different than just visiting for a week or two. in the past 2 weeks, I have learned that you don’t eat dinner until 10pm, you eat a sandwich or a piece of bread with cheese and ham for breakfast (how awesome, right?)  that tinto de verano (red wine + lemonade on ice)  is usually cheaper than water, and that walking past the cathedral is a pain because there are a thousand tourists that stand in your way on the way to class.  i have learned much more than this however, a lot about finance, in my international finance class, and I love it. I have also learned about old Spanish literature pieces such as La Celestina, and El sid. Our Spanish Literature class is hard. It is exactly like a real literature class that we would have back in the States, but all in Spanish. We analyze poems, sonnets, and books. every night we get to come home to our amazing host family and usually have dinner for about 2 hours with them. we have talked about the things going on in Barcelona with Catalonia, the language and the slang used here, and so much more. speaking of we, I have to mention my awesome roommate, who I lucked out with. on our program, we are paired with a random roommate based off a short survey; and I have never gotten luckier. Katherine goes to A&M and honestly is the coolest human i’ve ever met (and funniest).

it has only been a short amount of time, but it is truly flying. I knew I would always love Spain but I never thought I would like it this much. Sevilla itself is incredible. It is the perfect size, the people are so kind, the shopping deals are surreal,and most of all, the culture is incomparable to any other place, in the best way. the prices are so reasonable and I could not have picked a better city to live in for this summer. last weekend we went to Morocco and it was so amazing, and so different than anything I have ever experienced before. This weekend, we are heading to Granada and Cordoba. In the coming weeks, we are planning on going to Amsterdam, Palma, Malaga, Cadiz, Portugal, and anywhere else we can go for cheap.

anyways, i should get back to studying for finance. right now we are at a coffee shop right on our street drinking cafe con leche, with pan con tomate, our whole ticket for 3 people was 7 euro. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say enough great things about this place.

hasta luego

hailey

 

 

 

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