Hola! My name's Martha Connor and I'm a sophomore in high school from Charlotte, North Carolina. I've been living here in Spain for about 6 weeks but it honestly feels like I've been here my whole life (but in a good way!) I'm all situated into the daily routine and my family here; my new normal. I know it's a bit late to start my blog a month and a half in, but better late than never, right? To get the bad stuff out of the way, I'm going to start with the things I don't like about Spain. It consists of two things; there's no peanut butter, and lotion is called body milk. To be fair, you can find peanut butter, but it's hard to find and relatively expensive. I hate the body milk thing, though, there's no saving grace for that, it's just too weird. Back to peanut butter (focusing on the important things here) I do have a large container that I brought from the US, along with a LOT of Reece's Peanut Butter cups.
So now we can focus on everything I like about Spain, which is... everything! I've made so many new friends (American and Spanish) and had many great experiences all in the few weeks I've been here. I absolutely love my host family, we couldn't have had a better match.
This picture was when I first met them and to be honest, I started crying when they walked in the door; I was so excited to meet them! The initial car ride home was a bit awkward, as I didn't know what to say to them or how to say it, I was still in shock! I quickly got over that and began telling them about me and they began telling me about them and Sevilla! The first few days I was getting used to everything and felt very separated from my host family. What really made me feel comfortable was about the third day in I just had a good cry with my host mom, Mayte. It sounds strange but once I opened up (and cried) I felt so much better. The first two weeks I called my mom in the US every night and we talked for a long time, but now I feel much more comfortable confiding in my friends and family here that I don't need to call her so much. Don't get me wrong, I definitely still call my mom and maybe even cry a little (surprise: I'm a crier!) but I don't need to rely on her like that now. I also keep a journal and write everything about my day in it every night and it's been a great way to both reflect on each day and to let my feelings out, so I highly recommend that. In addition to how it's great short-term, I know it will also be very fun to look back on in the future.
Life here is wildly different from back at home, school included. Apart from the whole language situation (a whole other story) school here is much more fun and I really look forward to going everyday, rather than it being an unwanted requirement like at home. The school environment here is so different than what I'm used to. At home I have about 12 people in every class and we change rooms and everything for each class. Here, there's between 25 and 30 people in my class and mostly all the classes are in the same room. We change rooms for Music, Art, Physics, and of course gym, but everything else is in our same bright teal classroom. Also, everyone here is so supportive and bonded so tightly, that my class is literally like a big family; I sure can't say anything like that for my classes at home. Even with me, only being here for a few weeks, I feel so close to everyone.
Something super different about Spain that I noticed very quickly, is that everyone is sooo touchy. Not touchy in a bad way like hey get offended easily, no, but touchy in a way like you'll be sitting doing work and your friend walks by and kisses your cheek or grabs your face (yeah there's a lot of face-grabbing it's a little weird). All this touch/human contact is definitely way different than anything I'm used to, but I'm loving it! Another big change between the States and Spain is the eating schedule. Here in Spain we eat breakfast like normal, then a big lunch around 2, then a big dinner around 9:30-10:30, and some snacks in-between. It's different, but I'm getting used to it.
Every day is an adventure when you're studying abroad, with new people and experiences, so have fun while it lasts!
Honestly I could talk about my life in Spain all day, but I've got to end it somewhere. Hopefully I'll post more than once every 6 weeks, but we'll see! Adios!
If anyone has any questions or anything feel free to DM me on Instagram @Martha_dd