it is just starting to hit me that I have less than 20 days left in spain. this summer has been nothing less than incredible and ineffable. if i could spend a year here, i would in a heart beat. everyone says people go to study abroad to “find themselves”, which I honestly don’t really know what that is suppose to mean. yes we learn and grow, but i really think we grow because we are challenged. back home, we are comfortable. we have our friends, our family, and we don’t need a map to go to the store, or a translating device to order dinner. the first few weeks here in spain, i was in a honeymoon, and everything was great. it felt like a vacation. but after about 5 weeks in, things got a little harder. i found myself just wanting to be able to have typical american food like chicken salad, or a good steak; lame, i know. but after week 5 or 6, i started to feel really settled. and now, I don’t really want to leave. of course I am excited to go home and go back to school, but there is just something special about europe. there is something special about walking to the store every morning and getting fresh fruit, or sitting at a market and meeting people from all around the world. and, there is something so special about being able to have a home cooked spanish meal everyday with our host family, and conversing only in spanish. these are things i won’t have at home, and i am going to miss, a lot more than i think.
this summer though, i don’t know if i would say I found myself. i have traveled alone before, been to Europe alone and i go to school out of state. i am used to doing things on my own, and i like it. however, this summer i found something so much greater than myself, i found God. how cool right? i was not expecting it. I have always been a christian, but i hadn’t found God yet. i would go to church one week, and be gone for 4 months. it was not consistent, and i had so, so much doubt. this past semester, i felt really incomplete. i felt like i was missing something from my life, and i could not put my finger on it, but it was most definitely faith. this summer, I have started doing bible studies with my roommate (big shoutout to her for answering all my questions and always reminding me what is important). we have done them in coffee shops, in the parks, even just sitting in our room talking at night. and trust me, for a long time I have been so in and out with faith, trusting and not trusting, but this time is so different and its incredible. God is pretty cool, and how cool to say i found Him in spain? what a summer.
anyways though, this weekend we are heading to Amsterdam, and then the next weekend we are going to Lisbon! i am beyond pumped. time is going by fast but slow at the same time. kind of weird I know, but i am happy with all of it. this summer i have learned a lot about myself. i have learned that i am inpatient, i love alone time, i love Jesus, and that i literally love cheese on bread. (never liked it back home what was i thinking). i am going to miss the cheese, and ham, and bread, oh and did i mention the 1 euro wine?
besides all the amazing cultural stuff and finding God though, i am also taking 12 hours this summer. they aren’t hard classes, but they are each 2 hours and 15 minutes, which is long because back home most of my classes are only around 1 hr. however, one of my classes is called economics and politics in the European union, and it is the best class ever. I am an econ major so that makes it great already, but adding the politics part makes it even better. our professor is also super cool, and literally knows everything about the EU, and the united states. that’s another thing I have learned from being here, everyone here knows relatively a lot about the united states. but I feel like back home, many american’s don’t really know much about Europe, or european politics or the economy. after 2 summers abroad i have definitely realized that we are a very ethnocentric culture. i think it is so important to have international influence and exposure to really understand the world and have an appreciation for other people and cultures; after all, we all are sharing the same earth .