As the twenty five of us students with three teachers boarded the plan out of Denver International Airport we were nervous to be going so far from home, but we were excited to be on our own with no parents. We had paid all our fee’s, submitted our applications, typed our essays, packed our bags and finally the day was here to go! It was June 4th when we left Denver, Colorado and it was June 5th when we landed in Barcelona, Spain. We were glad that the 10 hour flight to London, then to Barcelona was over and we were excited to finally be there! The ten day trip went by faster than expected as we traveled from Barcelona to Madrid to Zaragoza, Seville, Costa de Sol and then finally home. We visited landmarks like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, and Spanish Villages in Barcelona. We saw Cathedrals and Royal Palaces in Madrid and Zaragoza. We spent the evenings trying to enjoy Tapas dinners and Flamenco dancing shows. We spent the days shopping the streets, taking pictures and swimming at the beach. On some days we were allowed to go shopping alone in groups of five or six friends, we would walk around in our mile long “safe zones” and every few hours we would meet up with our teachers to check in. I think that was the best part of our trip because we were trusted and on our own to find our way around with nothing but a map and friends.
When we came home we were ready for some “normal” food after eating all the very different dishes they served there! We tried it all and attempted to talk to locals every day. But I think the most important part of the trip is what we brought home that will last us for a life time. We brought pictures, souvenirs and the taste of fish and bread home with us. But more than that we brought home a lot more maturity, closer friends and the desire to see our little brother that we thought we’d never have.
My trip to Spain that year taught me about being more mature, and independent. It taught us all how to live for ten days in a new, familiar and somewhat scary country without the comfort of our homes and parents. The culture was completely different, the housing and people and customs were all different and right when we were adapting we had to go home. I’ll never forget those ten days and all the fun we had because it really made me grow up and appreciate not only my country but other countries and cultures too. I recommend taking up the opportunity to travel out of your safe zone any time it presents itself to you. The things you’ll learn there will last you a life time!
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