I’m happy. The kind of happy that makes you want to smile from ear to ear the all day long. I can’t even describe how elated I am. Although study abroad in general is an emotional roller coaster, more often than not I’m at the top of the hill ready for the screaming, heart-racing, plunge.
Sevilla truly is a wonderful-t0-be-alive-in kind of place. But that’s not the only reason I can’t stop grinning. Have I mentioned the plaza? Almost every week my friends and I go to a certain plaza in the city center that is filled with Spanish people, and literally no Americans. Every week it has been a new adventure, because we make new friends all the time. The best part is that it never gets old because we’re always meeting new people and we get at least 4-5 hours of non-stop practice with Spanish conversation. Some times we meet people with whom we enjoy talking, and then we go our separate ways. One night when we just wanted a casual break from the boredom that is sitting in our rooms on our laptops, we went to the plaza and met really interesting people.
We’ve hung out with them three times since we first met, and we all have each others numbers and we’re friends on Facebook (so it’s clearly legitimate). Last night we met them in the plaza and they introduced us to more of their friends. We talked and laughed and joked for about 5 hours, walking to other bars and a club. At one point we were all laughing and joking with our new Spanish friends when a friend turned to me and said, “We are so lucky to have this opportunity. This is amazing.” She didn’t have to say anymore because I knew exactly what she meant. It literally brought tears to my eyes. Not only had we meant an amazing group of guys who love to hang out with us, we are able to express ourselves with ease in Spanish! Here I am in a bar in Sevilla, surrounded by new friends, American and Spanish, having sincere conversations, some deep, and some lighthearted, all in Spanish. Here I am texting my new friends in Spanish and receiving messages in Spanish and joking in Spanish and it all feels very natural and at the same time so exciting and foreign and wonderful. You see? I can’t even properly express my emotions because I’m just bursting with joy at this immense accomplishment.
I am lucky to have this opportunity, lucky that Jess led us to the Plaza that feels like my second home, and lucky to have met muy buena gente (genuinely good people). This weekend I’m going to Madrid with 6 friends on my first away from Sevilla, not with the program, travel adventure and I’m exstatic. In all honesty, however, I’m still really excited to meet up with them next week.
It’s a wonderful-to-be-alive-in kind of place.