As my uncle wisely commented, this blog should be called “Where in the World was Meriel” because of course it’s never up to date. I still haven’t posted about anything since my trip to Ireland in March and, because I blinked and the rest of my time in Spain suddenly disappeared, I’m on my way back there right now. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait a bit longer for those but hopefully it will be worth it!
Over the past 10 months there have been moments when something unnecessarily difficult and/or incredibly frustrating has come up that would never happen in the U.S. (or most other developed countries for that matter). A less serious example would be the fact that the roundabout right outside my building doesn’t have a pedestrian crosswalk…you kind of just have to go for it and hope for the best. So in these moments, in order to keep my sanity and make light of the frustration, I would simply laugh to myself and with a half-bitter tone say “#Spain.”
However, this time I say it with such heartfelt gratitude, awe, and inevitable sorrow, because while there have been many difficult and less-than-enjoyable moments, there have been infinitely more moments that have made the aforementioned highly forgettable and entirely worth it. I will dearly miss my friends, my niños, my professors, having the opportunity to speak Spanish on a daily basis rather than simply “practice” it, Bachata/Salsa classes, one particular Spanish brand of hummus, my Cornell water bottle with all my stickers on it that I accidentally left on a plane, popping over to see my extended family every now and again, the coffee (not the bitter American caffeinated dirt water), being able to walk everywhere, and I’m especially going to miss the cultural emphasis on the importance of life outside of work and taking time to relax.
I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to:
- Cornell for giving me this opportunity
- Jenny (DAT’S MY BIG!!) who played a major role in convincing me to go
- Sydney for being my study abroad inspiration
- Zoe, a Cantabria veteran, who basically volunteered to plan my life for me and answer my bajillion questions about all things Santander
- all my fellow Cornellians abroad who have hosted me, hung out with me, and/or shown me around their little part of the world
- all my friends back home who have provided an insane amount of moral support and letters/postcards
- Christopher Michael Huber (DAT’S MY LITTLE!!) who has been the only one to consistently FaceTime me through it all and also got me through my “major” crisis (=crisis about my major)
- my host mom who is the bomb dot com and even gave me her Quesada recipe
- my flatmates for being super sweet, considerate, helpful, and patient
- my Spanish families who have been exactly that this past year: my family
- Eli for finishing my sentences (when the Spanish words escaped me) ❤
- My friends who came to visit and brought me Girl Scout Samoas, pumpkin pie spice, graham crackers, and a new graphing calculator (right before my exams)
- My extended family for being my homes away from home
- All you who read my blog posts; I’m flattered that you’re so caring and interested in my shenanigans
- Most of all, my PARENTS without whom NONE of this would have been possible because they drove me to the airport (and encouraged me to go to Cornell in the first place and finally said yes to Spain ((And you gave me flat out “NO” the first time I said I wanted to study abroad in Spain hehehe)) and have listened to my skype rants every Sunday and have done all the things that I can’t do from outside the U.S. and gave me life and all that jazz).
You guys are the absolute best.
Spain, you have been so good to me. No digamos adiós, sino hasta luego ❤