When I found out that I could go on a rare life time experience trip to Spain with a group of class mates, I was nail bitten excited. I told my mom about it right away and she thought that it would be a great experience if I went. Leading up to the day, our group would gather for meetings to plan the trip and get information from our teacher that would be joining us.
We also took part in fundraisers like selling churros during lunch and having a carwash in a Wal-Mart parking lot.The night before the trip I never thought that I would fall asleep, I was just too excited to even think about sleeping. I had everything packed and ready to go, including some American snacks and pictures from home. Eventually I fell asleep and woke up to the sound of my moms voice calling my name.
We made a last minute check list to make sure we packed absolutely everything I needed and hit the road to meet everyone at the Bus Station.We took a bus to the Chicago airport where we would take flight. The drive was about an hour and a half, stopping on the way to drop off and pick up other travelers. It was my first time at the O’Hare airport, I never imagined it to be as big as it really was.
Our plane didn’t board for another hour so in the meantime we had some Starbucks and we rested. Coincidentally while waiting, we ran into our vice principal who was taking the same flight, but was going to Germany with his son’s soccer team. After an hour of waiting, the plane was ready to board. We all found our seats and attempted to prepare ourselves for eight long hours of flying.
I have flown before but that was only for two hours, nothing compared to eight hours. We arrived in Madrid, Spain around the same time that we left the United States, time zones are the reason for that. We were all excited to finally see ground again.We spent ten long days traveling the beautiful cities in Spain, I have never seen any place so beautiful.
At first it was difficult to fit in with the language barrier, but two years experience in Spanish class was enough for us to get by. In numbers of two we were split up to stay with a host family. It was scary to stay with strangers we have never met before, especially because we were in an unfamiliar environment.
My family was an old couple in a small apartment like house with few rooms, inside a wall surrounding their city of Avila. They were very welcoming but not so talkative. My roommate and I spent most of the time in our bedroom because it was difficult to get along with our hosts.Everyday we woke up early to eat breakfast, which consisted of little coffee cakes with hot chocolate, then walked to the travel agency building to begin our tours with the rest of the group.
This continued every morning for the rest of our stay. After we met we would either take a bus or a train to the city we would be visiting that day. Throughout our trip we visited Madrid, Avila, Vallodolid, Salamanca, and Segovia.
My favorite city was Segovia because it had huge and famous Aqueducts and the Alcazar. In these cities we visited famous museums like the Prado, famous cathedrals, and spent an hour shopping.
We were in Salamanca on April 9th, my birthday, unfortunately the weather decided to turn on us and it rained most of the day. We decided to take a break inside a cafe where my group surprised me with cake, this made the day a whole lot better. The cake tasted so good and unlike any of the food we ate so far in the trip.
The food we ate was nothing like what we usually eat back home. We had Spanish omelets, ham croquettes, paella, tortilla soup, and other original Spanish meals. My favorite was the paella because it had rice and chicken. On one of our free days, the girls and I went out to eat at a pizza place called Telepizza, because we missed our home food. Although the food was out of the ordinary for us, it was a good experience to try something new.
By the tenth day of our trip we were all ready to return home to our families and friends. After another long night of hopeless sleep we woke early and met for one last time at the travel agency building. We boarded our bus and headed back to the Madrid Airport to prepare ourselves for a final eight hour trip back to the United States.
At around three p.m. we pulled into the coach bus station to see our families’ warm, smiling faces. That’s when we new we were home at last. The trip was a great experience over all and I’m glad I had the chance to travel out of the country for the first time, and it’s definitely not the last. I enjoyed seeing the picture perfect scenery and challenging an unfamiliar environment far away from home. I encourage anyone who is given the chance to travel to go for it because it’s a chance of a lifetime and they will never regret going. As a famous quotes states, ‘ The traveler is wiser than he who never left his own doorstep.’
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.