The Experience of A Lifetime

As I sit here in my room in Seville, Spain I keep asking myself where the time went. I have less than a week left here, and it is so bittersweet. I remember the day I was leaving from home in Massachusetts for Spain, I was a whirlwind of emotions. I was excited, scared, nervous, and not really sure what to expect. When my plane landed in Madrid I couldn’t believe I was starting my study abroad experience, now I can’t believe it is already time to head back home.

Dan Peltier '17I have had the time of my life this fall. Over the past two months I have been to eight different countries ranging from Italy to the completely exotic country of Morocco. As hard as it was coming here in the first place, it is going to be even harder to leave.

In the months of October and November I traveled almost every weekend. I visited some unforgettable places, and had some memorable experiences – both good and bad. Facing adversity – from language barriers, to having friends fall victim to pickpockets and food poisoning actually were important moments for me. I learned to deal better with adversity.

Things are bound to go wrong at some point. As awful as some of these things were I’m actually thankful that they happened. When something would go wrong I didn’t have the option to be able to pick up the phone and call someone I knew for help or advice. I was in a foreign country and we had to learn how to fix things on our own. Yes, some things were more serious than others but you still learn how to manage a situation and more importantly keep calm so you can think straight and problem solve.

In my time in Seville, I have come to make great friends from all around the world. That is probably one of the greatest rewards about my study abroad experience other than being able to travel. I made some great friends here that I know I will have for life. I also have a new appreciation for family.

I elected to live in a “homestay” with a Spanish family for the semester, and I am so glad I made this decision. My family has been absolutely amazing and I have come to love them like they are my family. My homestay dad Jaime has taught me so much about the culture of Spain and has showed and explained the Spanish culture to me in so many ways. My homestay mom Elo is absolutely amazing, I don’t know what I would’ve done without her in this experience. She really was like my mom away from home. She helped me to develop my Spanish speaking and listening abilities, and I can’t thank her enough for that.

I also have had the best little sister named Lucia. I have learned so much Spanish from talking to her and hanging out with her. In my real family back home in the states I don’t have sister but after spending the last three months with her I can say that I’m definitely going to miss having her around. Especially when she would just come to sit and talk with me in my room as I was doing homework. I am so thankful that I had such an amazing family to stay with.

If you ever have the chance to study abroad or just go abroad even just for a short period of time you have to take that opportunity. It has been truly amazing and probably the best decision of my life to do this. Exploring other countries, cultures, and meeting new people has truly been eye opening for me and definitely makes me reevaluate what I want out of my life. All I know is that one-day I will make my way back to Europe.

There is so much of the world I want to see, and I can’t wait to keep traveling.

  • Elo

    La vida también nos ha dado la gran oportunidad de conocerte.Has sido y siempre lo seras uno mas de nuestra familia.Confiamos en ti, no tenemos la menor duda de que conseguirás cumplir con tus sueños.Te echaremos mucho de menos.Por suerte, las distancias son mas cortas.Un besa o enorme de tu familia española!

  • Giselle Martes

    Hello!
    Your mom is going to be thrilled to see you, as I'm sure you know. But you said it, this just set you up to be a lifetime world traveler. That's what did it for me but you have to have something-that you do-already inside of you to want to do that. I will be going to Prague and that area this May. It's wonderful you got to travel so much. Most of the students that went from my college stayed pretty much in the areas near Spain. Well, you have been bitten by the bug!

    I have experienced food poisoning, more than once, nearly died (or so I thought) in Italy and another time in Iran; both places I was hospitalized. Never have been victim of a crime. Being a female, and an easy target (or so they think), I was super vigilant. I was lucky, too, because those that do this for a living are very clever in the manner that they rob you. It's easy to be fooled or taken in.

    I have been to Spain many times, my son has a place in Andalucia- Marbella, but I prefer to go somewhere new each time I travel. So, other than Spain, I have not gone to too many places more than once. My next trip, after Prague, is Argentina. You see, it becomes an obsession. Since I was in my 20s, I have always been planning my next trip. I don't know if I have been trying to run away from something or find something. But you do find a lot in travelling.

    Please put on your list the Mid-East (your mom is now about to click the unfriend button), in the future. You are young; they have to calm down over there at some point.

    I highly recommend Iran, the Great Persian Empire, Persepolis and the nicest people you'll ever want to meet. Even today! John Stewart went to the Mid-East and was working on a film (Rosewater) with the Iranians and said he couldn't believe how kind and hospitable they are. To see those gorgeous Mosques and the advanced architecture from thousands of years ago, the culture-very interesting…OK…I know, I have to stop. You just can't get me started when it comes to travelling or to my son (your mom gets that) because I won't shut up.

    Do you feel more confident with your Spanish? Does this experience make you want to study other languages? I taught 3 and learned two others- I was very fluent in Persian.

    Well, I'm glad it was so positive for you, and I look forward to your mom's posts in the future and am expecting to see a whole lot of pictures of her with you upon your return. Indulge her. Not only does she love you to death and is so proud of you, she's your mom!

    Buena Suerte en el porvenir.
    No tengo ni idea de lo que pienses hacer (ser) después de graduarte de la Universidad. Sin embargo, espero que tengas un empleo que te deje viajar por el mundo. Eso sería la respuesta perfecta. Desafortunadamente, no vivimos en un mundo perfecto. ¡Felices Pascuas! GM