Freshmen year, I was chosen out of ten girls at my school, the Philadelphia High School for Girls, to study abroad in Spain. My Spanish teacher, Mrs. Salgado, loved how interested I was in the Spanish culture. Being from Venezuela, she believed experiencing interactions with Spaniards would improve my Spanish dialect and awareness of South America’s history.
Granada was my favorite city to visit in Spain because of the immaculate beauty it possesses. The architecture is traditionally “Moorish” from the life of the Moors who lived between the 8th and 15th century. When I visited the Alhambra Palace, the engravings on the walls and the vibrant stained glass left me speechless.
Visiting La Casa Mila in Barcelona, Spain was an invigorating experience. I was aghast to see how nature inspired architect, Antoni Gaudi to design the structures of his home.
In Barcelona Spain, I met a 57-year-old woman named Anna Karenina. We conversed about life in Barcelona, and Anna mentioned an obstacle in her life. She despised how as a waitress, she was getting paid less than the men in her profession. Despite her sprained wrist and her age. Anna wanted me to share her story to spread awareness of the world.
My favorite meal from Spain was a traditional dish called Paella, it is a rice dish cooked with chicken, shrimp, scallops, and mussels.
One of the challenges I faced while travelling , was coping with jet lag. After a 10 hour connected flight, my body felt exhausted. Immediately after my educational group landed, we attended a bat cave tour in Cordoba, Spain. After an interesting tour, I managed to persevere through fatigue.
My trip to Spain has taught me the value of communication. I’ve learned a dialect of Catalan, which is slightly different than Spaniard Spanish. Spending two weeks in Spain has shown me how to embrace other cultures, try new things, and ignore the fear of the “unknown”. I plan on traveling to Europe again in the future.