It isn’t often that you get the experience to travel at all. It is expensive, confusing, and most people just do not have the kind of time it takes to travel, especially internationally. I came to this conclusion toward the end of my junior and realized that after I graduate and join the workforce, I might never get the chance to experience another culture again. This brought me to where I am now, which is spending my last quarter of college living with a host family in León, Spain. Yes I will probably (hopefully) be able to take vacations when I’m older, and I will try my hardest to see as many awesome places as I can before I kick that proverbial bucket, but I don’t think I will ever have the same type of opportunity that I do right now to understand what it’s like to be from somewhere else.
My goal is to learn as much as possible about the experience of being from León and Spain itself by interviewing people of different ages and backgrounds who call León home. I will include pictures so you can put faces to names (and really who doesn’t like pictures). Along with this I hope to immerse myself in the culture here as much as possible and create my own León experience. Using both these tools I hope to tell a story about what it’s like to be from somewhere else not just a story about being somewhere else.
The reason that I chose this particular topic is that I think it is extremely important to be able to see things from another perspective than your own. The United States only makes up between 4-5 % of the world’s population. As Americans I think that we get hung up on how great America is and forget there is an entire planet to explore and understand.
The first thing that I noticed after living here for a couple of days is the difference in time between Spain and the United States (no not the 9 hours ahead time change). People do not go to work until about 10 am. Lunch is at about 2:30 and dinner is between 9:30 and 10:30. They have a siesta, which is like a midday break, from after lunch until about 5 pm. A group of us went out to a club this weekend and it didn’t start getting busy until 4 am and there was still a huge line to get in at 6:30 am when we left. Being late doesn’t really exist. You get there when you get there. It is pretty hard to adjust to but I actually really like it (especially the siesta).
I hope you all will join me on my exploration of Spain. I’ll be traveling all around the country including places like Barcelona, Ibiza, and Madrid. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and would love for you to share it with me. Good-bye America and hola España!