I miss my family, I can’t wait to hug and kiss them.
I miss coconut water and aloe vera juice.
I miss my usual name brand beauty products and reading English on labels in the grocery store (things get complicated in Spanish and I still get lost in translation sometimes).
I miss my comfy bed.
It pretty much ends there with what I miss about the states. I so wish I had more time in Spain. Possibly an entire semester would quench my thirst for this land but I’m unsure. I tell my host mother I am going to move here. She laughs. “Do you know how many students I’ve had in my home and how many of them have said the same thing? And not one of them has moved here. In fact, I rarely hear from any of them anymore.” I sigh and tell her I’m different, we’ll be neighbors one day! She laughs again and then remembers, “Oh yes, there was one student who met someone here, fell in love and came back. But that was one of sooo many students that I’ve had here.” I continue conversing with her with confidence to return one day but start to feel the reality of things as I see the sadness in her eyes of long lost students that have come and gone.
My eyes, have felt hazy since arrival. I’m telling you, it’s all been a dream to me. Seriously, this trip simply cannot be. I see myself waking up in the USA one day and writing about the most wonderful dream I could’ve ever imagined. I wanted this for so long. It hasn’t happened, no. I haven’t really gone to Spain to study abroad, have I? I have seen the squares upon the concrete sidewalks in Oviedo? Have I really tasted the Spanish olive and liked it? Have I been speaking Spanish consistently for a month? Wait, I had a political debate in Spanish with Spaniards!? ¡No puede ser!
Glimpses of this fantasy constantly go in and out of my mind.
I’ve lived in a city in Spain and walked to school every day. I’ve enjoyed Spanish bars upon bars with wonderful friends who make me laugh. I’ve tasted the strength of the Spanish coffee and the delicious tapas along with my vino. I’ve learned how to make a typical Spanish sauce. I’ve studied in an actual University in Spain. I’ve felt the Spanish sands and waves. I’ve waved hello from the top of a balcony where Spanish kings have been. I’ve walked inside holy caves and wandered the forests in Spain. I’ve watched the sunset over the ocean, knowing that my friends and family back home were out beyond those waters and had yet to see that same sun setting.
I love the walk from Calle Monte Gamonal to the Chinese Store even though I complained about the longest street lights in the world. I loved greeting my girls on the bench and running along the short red brick sidewalk that was still damp from being cleaned the night before.
I loved climbing two or three flights of stairs in school every day and complaining with friends about how out of shape we are when climbing the last flight.
I loved laughing out loud at all my professors’ jokes even when the rest of the class blankly stares at him.
I loved hearing my host Dad call me for each meal, “¡Tessa! ¡A Cenar!”
I loved bothering my host brother for stupid things and interrupting his video games.
I loved getting beauty and style tips from my host mother.
I loved having a host Dad who pretty much gave me a lessons in Spanish cuisine every day at lunch time.
I loved laughing with my host dad and brother that one day when we tried to communicate in English. “¡Oh what a fun day at lunch today!” My Dad replied, and we all warmly smiled at each other.
I loved missing bread the one day the family didn’t have it. I became a true Spaniard that day. I can’t eat without my bread!
I loved the melon with no name, just melon. I don’t know how or if I’ll be able to taste your heavenly sweetness ever again melon.
I loved having my family offer me fruit or yogurt each night and then to see how they don’t waste even the bruised fruits.
I loved being less wasteful in all I do and use in order to match the Spanish lifestyle.
I loved watching ‘El hormiguero’ or the news after dinner each night with my host family and trying so hard to understand it all.
I loved having to carry a sweater and umbrella around almost all the time because in Oviedo, even the weather man/woman can’t predict the swift changes in weather.
I loved having my Dad show me around the city as if I was his daughter and always making sure I was okay before leaving me.
I loved how the windows could be pulled up and down and black out the room. I loved how the windows could always be open and have no screens. How the current of wind would sometimes slam doors and spook you. I love how there aren’t many bugs. I loved hearing the train randomly rush by my window and looking into their windows imagining what the lives of those people were like.
I loved seeing people hang clothes so much more than using dryers.
I loved how the prices here are so much less than in the United States for almost everything!
I loved taking siestas. I know I’ll even miss the stores being closed in mid-day and weekends.
I loved discovering what Spain has to offer each and every day.
There will never be another time like this for me, I know it. I can only hope to return and simply cherish every moment I’ve had here.
The time has come to go back to what I knew before Spain. It is a bitter sweet feeling. I didn’t think this through. How did I not consider how in love with this country I would become? If I could take my favorite parts of the USA and bring them here, life would be complete.
I never really want to wake up from this Spanish dream. But, well, everything has its season and time. Yet, my eyes still feel hazy…