Where's Waldo?

This will be my travel blog as I attempt to document my semester studying abroad at la Universidad de Sevilla. Blog title inspired by my sweet and lovely sorority sister Karissa, who named my traveling gator (our mascot) Waldo. Hopefully this is an effective way to share my thoughts and experiences with my friends and family back home!

Ask me anything
So my brother just got on a plane to come visit me for Christmas…

So my brother just got on a plane to come visit me for Christmas…

Tagged: travelplanesmy brother is kind of a dicklol

Today was the first St. Nicholas Day in my memory that I did not somehow celebrate with my mother. It was the first SND in my memory I didn’t wake up to gifts and candy and a satsuma in my stocking. It was the first SND where I didn’t get a card from my mom. And with most of my friends leaving to go home next week, it was the hardest day I’ve yet faced on this trip, though not the only difficult one. 

People who haven’t lived in a foreign country and culture may not completely understand what I’m feeling. Many times, when I mention that I’m feeling homesick or I wish I could be home for a particular event (ie Greek Fest, the Tree Lighting, Pledging for my sorority, etc.) the reaction I get is, “But you’re in SPAIN. In EUROPE! You should be having fun!”

Contrary to the speaker’s belief and intention, this doesn’t make me feel better. In fact, it usually just compounds the homesickness with guilt for not fully enjoying my amazing opportunity. I have never been away from my family this long before. I am living in a culture very foreign from my own with people I have come to know and love and even call a second family, but who could never replace my Mom and Dad and brothers back home. I’m living in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, but it’s beauty will never compare (to me, at least) to the beauty of the Columbia Gorge or the eclecticism of SE Portland or the cozy familiarity of my own dead-end street.

I have enjoyed my time in Sevilla so incredibly much. I’ve visited buildings older than my country’s constitution and tried things so entirely outside my comfort zone. I’ve learned to navigate on my own in large and unfamiliar cities and I’ve had to problem solve as I come to the problems included with traveling alone. I’ve learned to appreciate another culture and to speak another language. I’ve made irreplaceable friends and invaluable memories. But I have had days of crippling homesickness. Days where I wanted nothing more than some takeout Thai food and a day of Goodwill shopping for ironically ugly hipster sweaters. Days when I wished for a stroll through the Pacific U campus, with it’s changing trees and adorable brick buildings more than a Gothic cathedral and palm trees outside my window.

And I think that people who AREN’T far away forget that it can’t all be one great adventure after the next. i have to live a real life here. I go to school and I write papers and I spend some weekends catching up on TV shows and lounging around in my pajamas. Some people forget that with adventure can come loneliness and feelings of isolation. I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world, but I would never call it perfect.

I had the best time I possibly could and I have very few regrets regarding my time in Europe. But leaving home and flying across an ocean for four months comes with it’s emotional price. And tonight I’m paying part of it. I would feel like I was lying not to include some of these feelings on this blog. It wasn’t all excitement, adventure, and perpetual thankfulness. Sometimes it was resentment and tears, just like tonight. But now I appreciate home so much more than I ever did before.

I’m gonna miss you, Sevilla. But I’m ready to head home for a while before starting my adventures again.

Tagged: sevillaespañastudy abroadtravelhomesickness

bananacocodrilo said: we call it "lenguas". There are "lenguas rojas" and "lenguas de colores".

Thank you! I’ve been here for four months now and never bothered to ask until now :) Mi piso de compi y yo se llamamos “Rainbow bacon” 

(Also lived here for four months and my Spanish still isn’t that good :/ )

Tagged: bananacocodrilo

New favorite candy EVER.
I don’t know what it’s called. It’s Haribo brand, though. OMG SO GOOD

New favorite candy EVER.

I don’t know what it’s called. It’s Haribo brand, though. OMG SO GOOD

Tagged: haribocandyespañasevillatravel

Details and general shots from inside the palace at the Alhambra

Tagged: GranadaAlhambraEspañatravel

Jardines de Generalife in Granada

Tagged: GeneralifeGranadaAlhambraEspañatravel

Super gross pictures from cooking class today.

We had lamb brain!

Tagged: sesoslamb brainweird foodsevillaespañatravel

No me ha dejado

Tagged: sevillaespañatravelit has not abandoned me

Walked around the Parque Maria Luisa for nearly two hours today! Wow, I had no idea what a beautiful park it was. Great conversation time with a new friend and a little shopping on the side. Found a good place to buy tourist-y castanets and personalized fans and bought twelve postcards for two euros! Also bought my dear friend Tiara and me some matching gator bracelets to represent our sorority mascot (and, of course, Waldo, my blog mascot). Although I prefer to think of mine as a crocodile because it makes me think of the Lewis Carroll poem, “How Doth the Little Crocodile?” Also, I’m trying something new with my style—I bought an actual ring for my nose piercing! So far I have one big fan at least. I didn’t know how much Lucas likes nose rings. 

Excellent day. More to come tomorrow. Goodnight.

Tagged: sevillaespañaparque maria luisatravel

Amalgamation of some bad-quality video I took at La Carbonería  last night. Super cool!

Tagged: flamencosevillaespañaspainla carboneríatravel