One's destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things. -Henry Miller

Posts tagged “Homesickness

The Day I Almost Jumped Off A Bridge.

If all of your friends were going to jump off a bridge, would you do it too?

Yes, maybe. If I had the necessary 30 euros with me.

Allow me to explain:

I had just gotten back to Granada after seeing Kelly off at the airport. It was cold. The power was out in my apartment…which meant I couldn’t charge my dead phone or my dead laptop. My roommates were still in their hometown. I had no food, and it was a bank holiday…so no grocery stores were open. I was a sad, sad, girl. I was hating Spain a little and feeling homesick A LOT. These moments for me are generally fleeting, as I try to be happy where I am, and I do love Spain 90% of the time. However, this day was a low point.

While I was busy feeling sorry for myself, my roommate’s friend stopped by the apartment to pick something up. We chatted a bit and our conversation went something like this (translated for your benefit):

Friend: Annie, how are you?

Me: Good. Bored.

Friend: Come with me! Right now! Hurry! Put on your shoes!

Me: But, where are we going?

Friend: To jump off a bridge!

Me: Really?

Friend: Yes. Hurry! Get ready.

So that’s how it began. I put on my boots,  grabbed my camera and got in the car with my friend (in a caravan with 11 other people) to drive to a bridge 15 minutes outside of Granada. It was a beautiful day. And the sun was setting behind the mountains as I took pictures of the adventurous Spaniards. I was highly pressured into jumping, and I probably would have if I had brought money with me. I was feeling spontaneous. But alas, I didn’t want to be the foreigner who needed to borrow money.

The Bridge.

The Jump.

 

It was a great way to salvage my good-for-nothing day, and the perfect reminder of why I love Spain…kind people and new experiences.

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Giving Thanks in Spain

Naturally, Thanksgiving in Spain wasn’t as great as Thanksgiving in America, but it was pretty darn good. In fact, I had TWO Thanksgivings!

Thanksgiving 1: On Thursday, November 25th.

After work, I put on my spandex (let’s be honest, jeans are not the preferred attire for serious eating) and walked to a British restaurant called Casa Lopez Correo with my friend, Alex (from Iowa) and a new friend Casey (from Boston).

The Restaurant!

When the first plate arrived in front of me, I thought to myself…”Have these people done ANY research on Thanksgiving?” I’d explain all the courses, but it’s much easier if you just look at the pictures:

First Course: Pate, Some sort of fig sauce, Shrimp salad

Second Course: PUMPKIN (!!!!) Soup

Third Course: Turkey with gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Classic.

Dessert: Apple pie with ice cream! Yum!

Alex, Casey and I sipping champagne...how posh!

A successful dinner! Afterward, I went home and spent some time with my friend, Peter and my roommate, and listened to Christmas music (Peter’s obsessed). I skyped my family which was amazing (I met my cousin’s newborn baby via video chat!!) and introduced them to Peter and Elias.

Thanksgiving 2: Saturday, November 27th.

I was invited to a Thanksgiving potluck at my friend Valerie’s and it was SO MUCH FUN. Everyone brought something and we had a huge spread of food and roughly 18 bottles of wine. We also were able to share Thanksgiving with a Spaniard and a Norwegian who were thoroughly impressed by the holiday.

I was appetizer girl!

Suzanne hard at work on her apple pie.

Some plates loaded up with food! Chicken (turkey was too difficult), green bean casserole, fried pumpkin, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes & veggies.

Marissa and Mickey (both visiting from other teaching locations in Spain).

Everyone enjoying the meal!

The lone cranberry sauce can.

The beautiful apple pie with a heart in the center.

Suzanne, Abby, Valerie and I.

I feel so thankful for all of the people I have met here, and all of the opportunities I have had as a consequence of this experience. While I do miss America sometimes, I am incredibly lucky to be fulfilling a dream that I had to live abroad. And to know that I am being supported by so many friends and family at home is so encouraging…especially my parents and brothers who are always the first to read my blog and continuously make me feel like I can do anything.

My dear friends and family, I am so sincerely thankful for you.

Besos!

A


My Spanish Birthday

I had a really awesome birthday here. Granted, I missed you all extremely, but I tried to put homesickness out of my mind and enjoy the day here. The night before my birthday, I went out with Enrique and his girlfriend and their friends. They were extremely kind and spoke really slow Spanglish with me. I appreciated it. At midnight, they sang happy birthday to me in Spanish.

On my actual birthday, my host family got me a delicious ice cream cake and candles and sang to me after dinner. It was really, really sweet. They also insisted on taking pictures of me blowing out the candles (there were multiple reenactments), and they took one with my Spanish cell phone to send to my parents (however, I have no clue how to send an international text).

I went out at night to a street with lots of bars called Calle Betis for sangria and dancing with friends from the program. They made me feel really special and I had a lot of fun. I was also touched by all of the kind e-mails, voicemails, and facebook messages from people in the States. It meant so much to me. 22 is going to be a good year.

Besos y Abrazos,

Annie