Spain Study Abroad Resources

Sevilla-te echo de menos

In case you’re not a Spanish speaker, the title of this post in English means “I miss you”.  Why do I miss a city? Well, I recently marked the seventh anniversary of my semester abroad in Seville, Spain. It was on a typically cold day in late January 2006 that my dad drove me to JFK Airport where I proceeded to board an Iberian Airlines plane to Madrid and eventually made my way south to Seville, which was to be my home for the next four months. It’s utterly amazing how fast seven years go by, not to mention how much can change in that time span. I was on Facebook the other day and was “stalking” the profiles of some of the people I studied with, some of whom I’ve lost touch with. I was delighted to see that my roommate had apparently gotten married recently, as had another girl in the program. It was also amazing to see how incredibly young we all looked in photos. But that’s no surprise since that was from another era-college juniors versus turning 30 in only a couple of years.

I want to return to Spain more than anyone can imagine. It was truly a home for me when I lived there. I haven’t ventured back for a couple of reasons-I have an innate (read: unhealthy) obsession with wanting to visit as many countries as possible even though I know that visiting just one city should hardly qualify from a “been there” checklist; time and money are not endless (see prior reason); and lastly, I wonder how it would compare? I know that should I return to Seville I would just be a visitor, not a (temporary) resident like I was before. And even though I was a visitor when I traveled to places like Madrid, Cordoba, and Granada, I still felt more Spanish (excluding my physical features) than the standard tourist passing through who can’t speak a word of Spanish. What’s funny is that on certain walking routes I took in Seville (I hardly ever took the bus and I lived there before the metro was built) I can still vividly remember the way for some of them. If you asked me to journey from my host family’s house in Triana to the center where I studied at which was located in Arenal, I could do it with my eyes closed. I did so much walking when I lived in Seville and to me, being on foot is truly the best way to get to know a city.

I often wonder if the real reason I haven’t gone back to Seville (and Spain in general) is the fact that so much of it is still so fresh in my mind even though it was nearing a decade ago that I don’t need to return there (yet) since I can still replicate so much mentally. However, should I ever come into unexpected money, I’m almost certain that said unexpected money would be used to travel to Spain.

The list is innumerably long but here are the things I miss most about Seville:

-Relaxing by the river
(Seville’s mild winters made this possible)

-Living in a place SO historic
(a history that dates back to Roman times)

-Speaking Spanish ALL THE TIME

-Mastering the often hard to understand Andalusian accent

-Seeing the stunning Sevillana skyline
(the Giralda and Catedral are two of the prettiest buildings I’ve ever seen)

-Cien Montaditos
(This was a food place that sold 100 [cien] types of little tapas style sandwiches [montaditos]. The food was good but even more importantly it was cheap. And for a touch of homesick nostalgia, it had one with queso de filadelfia-Philadelphia cream cheese)

-Drinking sangria in a place where it’s not overly fruity like chain spots Applebees and Olive Garden tend to make it. Not to mention people in the United States thinking “that” sangria is authentic

-Dealing with the friendly unfriendly customer service staff at bars/cafes/restaurants (okay, that’s a joke since I definitely don’t miss that one)

-Living in a place where centuries old folk dancing is still cool (i.e. sevillanas and flamenco)

-Living in Seville. Period.

Have you ever been to Seville? If so what were your thoughts and experiences of it?

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