A Farewell to Spain

I’ve been back home (oh, how many meanings that word has had for me the past few years) for only three days now, and as strange as it is to shift back to saying “hello” instead of “hola,” it almost feels as if I had never left. Besides the jet lag that forces me into bed at 9:00pm, my transition back has been pretty comfortable and seamless.

I decided a little over a month ago to book my ticket and return–indefinitely–back home to New York. Even though I loved my time in Seville, my heart ached with homesickness for my little town and for the United States as a whole. I missed my family, the food, the culture, the opportunities. I needed another change–even if that change was a switch back to something familiar again.

Also, as much as I enjoyed teaching in my academy, paying off New-York-sized college debt on a Spain-sized salary just wasn’t feasible. Remind me again why American universities are so unnecessarily expensive?

And so, for those reasons and a few others, I decided that my next journey was to be one back across the ocean. Will I return someday? Maybe. Will that day be next September or in ten years? I have no idea.

Right now, I am thrilled to be back. Of course, there are millions of things I miss about Seville and will inevitably ache for in the weeks to come, the biggest being the friends I made while there. I learned so much about the world and about myself by making the connections that I did while abroad, and I am eternally grateful for that. The special thing about living in Europe is that you are surrounded by hundreds of different cultures, and making friends from across the continent and the world is such a unique experience. The most heartbreaking part about leaving was saying goodbye and knowing that there is a very real possibility that I shared my last cerveza with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known.

Beyond that, I will miss walking across the Triana bridge every day and looking out onto the row of picturesque houses along Calle Betis, a view that never failed to astound me with its beauty.

View of Calle Betis from my favorite reading spot near the Guadalquivir River.

I will miss how a one hour drive could take you to the most beautiful places–each one making me exclaim, “wow, this is the coolest place I’ve ever been,” even though my next trip would undoubtedly elicit the same response. I will forever be daydreaming about the pueblos blancos, the vineyards, the endless stretches of secluded beach, the small cobblestone streets that turn city centers into mazes.

I will miss the satisfying feeling of communicating successfully with someone in Spanish, even if those moments were few and far between.

I am content at the prospect of returning some day in the future, but now I am ready for my next adventure and for forwarding my career in New York. Although the big question mark that is my future is intimidating, it is also a challenge that I am ready to tackle.

Hasta luego España! Te amaré para siempre.


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