I had my first excursion outside of Sevilla this past weekend to a small beach town on the coast of the south of Spain called Cadiz.
When we got off the bus after the hour and a half ride, the first thing we could see was this big, blue abyss — the Atlantic Ocean.
My friends and I kept talking about how we were waiting for the moment we realized we were actually living in Spain and not just away from our homes like we normally would be at school.
The moment we saw the water helped that realization set in.
More than 3,600 miles of water separated me at that point from my home in New Jersey, and more than 4,200 miles from my home in Bloomington.
It took me almost an entire 24 hours to travel from home to Spain and now, after almost four weeks of living in this foreign land, I am starting to feel at home.
This semester is all about constantly asking questions and saying “yes” to every possible adventure.
During my free time following a morning of tours in Cadiz, a group of us went down on the beach and had a picnic.
We took in the soft-beach air and accepted the fact the water we were staring at was the thing separating us from our past lives in the United States.
I am in no way considered a Spaniard, at least, not yet. I am constantly getting lost and am spoken to in English after asking a question in Spanish, but every day is a step closer to immersion.
One of my favorite adventures so far was trying sea urchins for the first time.
Throughout the streets of Cadiz were these small booths just covered in sea urchins and oysters, fresh out of the ocean.
A nice man happily let me purchase just one to try versus the entire tray of 12. He took out a large sharp knife and carefully cut the creature in half, exposing the meat between the spikes.
I am normally very adventurous with all my food. I am happy to try anything at least once.
Although one of my fingers was pricked by the spikes, I was satisfied with the end product. The taste of sand and salt water stayed in my mouth all afternoon, but it was worth it.
On Monday, I started my official classes of the semester and haven’t gotten lost finding any of them so far, but I’m not holding my breath for many other places in the city.
Each class that I have has a focus in both communication and social justice — my two favorite subjects.
I will soon be forced to get lost on purpose for these classes in order to fully capture the Seville culture and find the stories that are hidden in the streets.
A new adventure awaits every corner in a place that is an entire ocean away from the familiar.
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