I honestly have given up trying to say goodbye to Madrid or at least try and keep my mind off of that city. I feel like the Spanish Gods are always whisking me back to Madrid, to Spain. I got back home, suuuuppper excited to tell everyone and anyone about my adventures abroad. I had learned so much and felt like I had changed to a certain extent just in those three weeks. No matter how brutal the jet lag was.
Every day that past, my body was crying out to stay in tune with Spain. I would get sleepy by 3pm and would wake up wide awake by 5am. I wasn’t the only one struggling, 11 other people were feeling the same jet lagged effects. It lasted for about two weeks until I could get myself to shake it off. My winter session ended the day I finished writing my “10 page” final research paper on the political parties of Spain and the evolution of new parties emerging out of the two prominent ones. Not only was I fighting jet lag but I managed to catch a cold as well.
I would spend my days dreaming of streets and buildings I walked by everyday. I would calculate the 9 hour time difference at different moments of the day. It’s 2pm here, it’s 11pm over there. I would follow this routine until I arrived in Spain the second time two months later. I was guilty of spending my time in class searching flights and information on Spain to amuse my heartbreak. Honestly don’t remember what I learned in Geology for a reason.
I was looking into coming back to Madrid in 2018 for a year long study abroad program. I had planned out in my head, to finish the last of my major and GE classes and spend the year abroad working towards a second major uninterrupted. Well that quickly changed. The application for the year long program closed early February and I enrolled into an intermediate Spanish class to get my preparation going. I ended up chatting it up with the program coordinator who let me know, I technically qualified since Spanish was my first language (although I’m not fluent) and I was enrolled in a 200 level course (basically needed to be intermediate). Check. Check. Check. Unfortunately the application had closed and was ultimately forced into applying later in the year. Or, so I thought.
Late February, I had consumed into my urges and bought a flight to Madrid for spring break. Flights to Madrid during March were in the low 1000s and I was never going to afford that after spending close to 4000 on a winter session trip there. Nor would I spend that much on a flight anyway. I was persuaded to spend my break over there, I peaked at flights just to say fuck it one last time. They were now in the 400s. The Spanish Gods were speaking and I had to listen. So here I was spontaneously buying a flight to across the pond again, in less than two months after returning home.
I was essentially running away from home, from school, from my worries. I wanted to feel liberated and free. I wanted to go MIA for a few days, where I wasn’t worried about assignments, dealing with migraines every day. I needed to somehow destress, following the urgency of two doctors. So I justified my actions by saying I could and I would destress in Madrid. I pressed submit and there it was my flight to London, March 22nd to Madrid.
A few days after buying my flight to Madrid, I received in email stating that the Spain program was on rolling admission. There you go again Spanish Gods. So I took another spontaneous opportunity and applied to the program. It took me a weekend to write my letters of interest and receive my letter of recommendations. Here I was pressing another submit button for Spain. I had nothing to lose. I had a 50/50 chance to get into the program or be rejected. I was competing with other students from the 23 CSU campuses, but I still had a few advantages 🙂 I can honestly say that I probably wouldn’t be studying abroad this fall if it wasn’t for my Madrid professor and my DC experience.
I had been away from home before. I moved to DC for 5 months and interned for Congress. I had a unique class schedule and adapted fairly quick and well to my new environment and culture. Being that I did a mini study abroad program, I was already familiar with Madrid and the Spanish culture. I even had a bus pass already. I felt that I could hit the ground running. Drop me, drop me. I checked my email frequently and allowed a small scale of people into my little secret. My little secret of return. My determination and ambition was on full force.
I never expected this experience to addict me, to push me to change a part of my life that had been set in stone since I was a child. Here I was trying to find any reason to run to Madrid. I was venturing for a unique experience after DC. DC made me independent, it made me mature, grow to know myself and what I wanted for myself and my future. I was playing career goals on the Hill. I was learning to be me. I was free from suffocating walls, places with same routines and boring sensations. I wanted to feel alive again. Madrid was becoming my resuscitation. It was never meant to be a goodbye.
4 6 days to go.