I never expected Madrid to change me or change my plans, but I became addicted, consumed by its beauty and ambience.
We arrived an hour late and I was never as happy in my life to have been able to step outside and breath fresh air. I was sick for about 4 hours on the plane and thought I wasn’t going to make it through customs alive. My roommate and I were picked up by our host family and driven to our temporary home in Pacifico (out of the bunch we were the closest to el Centro, gracias por dios). Later that night, we had a 2 hour walking tour through Madrid’s cobble stone streets and under Madrid’s festive lights.
After taking this photo, I knew I had fallen in love.
So the three weeks spent in this lovely country, changed my life or at least my perspective and my future timeline. You don’t understand how many times I walked through the streets, saying holy shit, I’m in fucking Madrid! Too many to count. I was in Europe for the first time in my life, in the motherland, of all places.
The week started with the typical 4 hour class, Monday through Friday, where my professor went on about the regions of Spain and the break down of Spain’s languages. Gallego, Vasco, Madrid, Rioja, etc, slowly engraved into my brain. Every night was spent fighting the time difference that wouldn’t let me go to sleep for no more than two hours at a time. Boy was the first week tough. My biggest regret was not exploring enough my first week. I spent my time rushing home with my roommate, to eat and take a siesta before we were whisked away to some museum or activity.
I lived with a host family that served me delicious food, was always kind and engaging, and most importantly had a dog. We were free to come and go as we pleased with no curfews. We always gave them a heads up, just because our host mom always wanted to feed us dinner beforehand. One thing I was super grateful for, were the cookies she bought me to have with milk, since breakfast was light in Spain. An important note I should mention is that I was forever hungry, and at odd hours of the day. It was only two of us that stayed with this family and by the time Friday of the first week came, I became the only one. I spent my first few days helping my roommate deal with some things, which led me to be the isolated pea of the class. I ended up becoming independent and building this love of Madrid on my own.