Friday, April 8, 2011
April's A-Ha! Travel Moments ~ Whitney Washington
By studying and living abroad, I became accustomed to the typical life of a “Sevillana”, or a native of Seville, Spain. My day began with a light breakfast followed by a beautiful walk to catch the metro or bus. On my way to school, I saw people catch transportation to their jobs beaming with the optimism of a “siesta”. Many nights ended with socializing and eating “tapas” in the streets of Seville.
My study abroad experience significantly shaped my life by allowing me to emerge from the tight bud of American lifestyle and also the tight bud of my family ties and expectations. First, my family had always expected that I would fulfill all my goals and dreams—as long as I achieved them within the state of Texas. Thus they did not expect me to follow through with my seemingly lofty desire to study abroad. As the youngest, I was expected to remain within the care and reach of my loved ones. Also, despite my interest as an International Business major, I was hesitant to study abroad and abandon the comfort zone of my close-knit family. While I feared being homesick in a foreign land, I broke free of my comfort zone to live in Seville.
Embracing my new life as a “Sevillana” significantly shaped my life because it afforded me with the opportunity of living with a host family, learning the art and history of Spain, and traveling throughout Europe. I especially enjoyed the journey of building lasting relationships in a different language. For example, while
abroad I befriended my host mom as we spent many hours talking about family, religion, shopping, school and traveling. My personal bond created through the Spanish language encouraged me to seek the further
opportunities to enhance my fluency.
Studying & Living in Spain