Spain will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was the first foreign country I visited. I was 18 and ready to take on the world. With my Spanish high school class, of course.
There is so much I know now about traveling that I wish I would have done differently. One of those being I wish I would have ventured off more. I wish I wouldn’t have been afraid to get a little lost because getting lost is the best way to experience new places.
I remember climbing the cobblestone hills as we made our way to the Alhambra. Speaking and learning tons of Spanish as me, another student and a teacher wandered through the gardens.
At night we made our way to the other side of town to see the impressive structure lit up.
We didn’t really see any other sites. If we did, they weren’t really that memorable. I think… if you went on the trip with me, feel free to tell me I’m wrong in the comments.
Read More: An Afternoon in the Alhambra
Toledo is the town I regret not buying a sword when I had the opportunity. But it would have cost extra money to ship it home and I didn’t want to spend that. Besides, what would I really do with a sword?
Aside from my one regret, I don’t really remember much from Toledo. Which makes it the perfect city to revisit.
Having lived in rural communities all my life, I was positive that I wouldn’t like the city. What could it offer that country living couldn’t. By that point, I had lived in the middle of nowhere North Dakota for about five years and I liked the peace and solitude.
But there was something about the city that wiggled its way into my heart and refused to leave.
Madrid was our first and last stop in the country. And my city of firsts.
I rode the subway for the first time and was terrified I would be separated from the group and be lost. I went to my first art museum. I visited a castle for the first time (later when we visited Segovia I told Senora that I would own a castle someday… still working on that one). And so many more firsts.
But more importantly than all the other firsts, it was the first city I fell in love with. And that opened my mind up to places other than the middle of nowhere, rural North Dakota.
We were told that our family stays were going to be in Cadiz, but really it was just a region and I only spent a couple hours in the actual city of Cadiz, so I would love to go back and explore more.
Puerto Real is where my family stay was. It was a smaller community outside Cadiz. There is actually a ferry that connects Cadiz and Puerto Real, but you can also drive in between the two.
And, of course, I would love to visit my host family again!
Seville was hot! Like, over 100 degrees hot. It was kind of like torture standing outside. I didn’t have nearly enough water and wanted to hide in the shade the whole time. I definitely didn’t appreciate the city as much as I should have.
And now that I know how to take better photos, it would be so much fun to wander through the city with my camera at the ready.
One of our last nights in Madrid and Spain, I remember telling my teacher the I wanted to become a Spanish teacher so I could show other young people the world. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I did find my own way of showing others the world and hopefully inspiring them to get out and see it!