Wow, this trip is really becoming a reality!! We have just 2 short weeks of classes left, then I have two final exams, and then BOOM! I'm boarding my plane and heading to Spain. It's crazy. 18 days away. That seems like nothing when I look at it, and it really is. I need to get my butt in gear with planning and packing.
I have my suitcase with me now, so I can spend some quality time figuring out what clothes/supplies I want to bring and how they'll fit. I have my medium/large-ish sized suitcase, my backpack, and a small shoulder bag. That's where I'll be keeping 6 weeks of my life.
I've really been trying to practice and work with my Spanish in everyday situations as much as I can. When I'm walking to class, I'll look around and think to myself in Spanish how I would describe what I see, or what I might say in a certain situation. I also think of words that I don't know in Spanish once in a while, and then try to think of how I would describe the word in a roundabout way to hopefully communicate what I mean. For example, if I wanted to tell my host mom that I needed to buy some shampoo, but I couldn't remember the Spanish word for shampoo, I'd describe it as "in a bottle, I use it to clean my hair" and hopefully she'd get the message and say the word, and then I'd remember what it is. Simple little things like that to help make life easier. I also want to sit down and look up some common phrases I'll be using a lot or things I may need to ask people like "I want to go to ____," or "Can you repeat that a little bit slower, please?" Useful phrases like that I'm going to want to know without having to think about it. I feel pretty competent with my Spanish skills, but I know when I'm completely immersed and they are speaking quickly and with a strong accent it'll be something to adjust to, but I am ready for that challenge.
Rico, our chaperone and head of the program, sent us the itinerary for our trip the other day which also makes this seem so real. On three of the Saturdays, we will take day trips as a group to other Spanish cities: Segovia, Salamanca, and Toledo. We also have one 4-day weekend where we are free to travel independently wherever we'd like to go, so that will be really fun. I will have to talk to some of my friends and see where we'd like to adventure to. We can get really cheap flights between countries like France, Italy, and some other neighboring countries, so that would be kind of fun. He also gave us a preview of our daily schedule. We will have breakfast at home, classes from 9am to 1pm on the weekdays, and then come home for lunch. Some afternoons there will be fun daily activities like tapas, Spanish card games, playing soccer, Spanish movies, cultural things like that. Then we have some free time in the late afternoon and evening, and dinner around 9 or 10pm.
I am getting very excited for my trip and cannot wait for all of this fun to commence!! I'm also excited for it to be summer and for all of this snow to melt. Hopefully that'll happen soon! Hope you are all having a nice spring! Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message, I'd love to hear some thoughts from you!