Lecciones De España
This June, I was lucky enough to travel to Spain with two of my high school’s teachers and a group of twenty other people. We travelled all over that amazing country. We started in Madrid and made our way to Toledo, then to Granada and from there to the Costa del Sol. We left from the coast to Seville and, after a day, made our way back to Madrid where we stayed for two more days. The last couple of days were spent in Barcelona where we explored the last Spanish city we may ever see and prepared to fly back to the United States early in the morning. The trip was as I expected it to be in terms of exploration and adventure, but I also learned some things from this trip that I had not expected.
We gathered one morning at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. I knew most of the people in our twenty person group, but only four were my close friends. I figured that I would be hanging around them for the next twelve days as we wandered through a completely different country. However, within the first two days in Spain, I made a couple of new friends within our group and met some people from other American groups touring Spain as we were. When it was night, our teacher would let us roam around the city we were in with a group of about six or so from our travel party. Not only did this help me befriend new people, but it also showed me how much my teacher trusted us and this brought on a different kind of responsibility.
Aside from the fact that this trip taught me the importance of new friendships, especially in a different country, it also helped me learn responsibility. I have always been called responsible around home, especially in high school. In high school, I was always able to keep up my grades as I took on sports and other extra-curricular activities. Plus, I also had time to keep my room organized and finish various other chores around the house and work summers Life Guarding. As long as I was able to keep doing these tasks, I was deemed responsible by my family. But Spain taught me more about what responsibility actually means. This was the first trip I have been on where I have been completely independent. I had to keep up with everything I had and manage my money as I lived out of several different hotels for a week and a half. What truly showed me responsibility was when we were walking through cities like Madrid by ourselves after dark. My teacher had already told me and another friend of mine that we were the ones he trusted and that he held us responsible for our group. If anyone separated, it was our responsibility and, therefore, our fault. We also had the challenge of leading the group through a strange city based on a small map and our sense of direction. It was exciting, but challenging for us sometimes, especially when certain people like to stray away from the group.
Overall, this trip was more beneficial to me than I expected. Of course I learned a great deal about Spain’s geography, culture, and history, but I ended up learning more than that. Two of the most important things I learned during my trip to Spain were that meeting new people from various cultures is a great experience and accepting personal responsibility and accountability is a necessity as I grow in my adult life.
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