Hi, again everyone 🙂 Holy moly how the time has flown. I only have 24 days left in this wonderful place. My traveling is dying down and I am spending the rest of my time in Sevilla. I have been reflecting and thinking about my time here, and how I have seen the changes that have come to me since I left on January 23rd! I never thought that four months could make such a big difference in my life. These changes are ones not just evident to me but to all those around me. One of the ways I have been reflecting is what I want to write about now. I have been keeping a journal since I arrived in Spain.
Now, considering I am an English major, it is not hard to imagine that I love to write. That being said, I was never planning to keep a journal. For Christmas, my boyfriend gave me a journal to take to study abroad, something I had never once considering buying myself before. He bought it because he thought it would be important for me to not only keep track of my time and activities but also to be able to see the differences from the beginning to the end of my time. He told me this was something I would have forever, that I could never replicate. He was right. As I am sitting here and looking back, while still abroad, I think that I can see some of the differences in my time. One of the biggest changes in my journal timeline was definitely my interest in keeping a journal. The first month I did not have daily entries, and at first, it was only about once every 4 days. I think that was because I was adjusting and just could not sit down and write about it very often for my own sanity. My journal entries very clearly reflect this. It was definitely a transition period, both from being away from home with a time difference and also culturally. I loved reading those original entries and thinking about how normal this is all to me now.
It was around March when my journal entries started becoming daily. I have an hour commute to school on the metro, so I usually use that time to journal. If not, I write at home in bed or flying to my next destination. I usually make sure that I take time to reflect on what I have done and how I am feeling. I loved seeing some of my daily journal entries. There were little things that I had done or a coffee shop that I wrote I wanted to visit that I had already forgotten about. My journal shows my transition into Spain, and how once I had made some of the best friends of my life, my time in Spain was truly a happy one. That being said, I loved seeing that I still ended most journal entries with how excited I was going to be to see everyone at home and get to share these experiences. I usually also have a countdown until how many days until I get to return home to see my boyfriend 🙂 To me, journaling became a sort of therapy. I was able to write about anything and everything. But journaling also became my timeline. I loved getting to look back and sort of travel back in time.
While I will never let anyone open my journal other than me, it is a very clear reflection of just how much good studying abroad has brought me. I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity. I am so glad that I took the time, and listened to my boyfriend, and journaled. It is the best souvenir I am bringing home. While reflecting to write this blog, I honestly just skimmed my journal. I plan to read the entire journal, front to back, on my plane ride home. I think it will be a great time to reflect. My two biggest pieces of advice to all future study-abroad students are to make the most of the time you have because it flies by quicker than you will ever think and to record your time there. Good luck to all Salve Study Abroad Students 🙂