It's a thing

Remember those lame “30 day photo challenges” that infected facebook for a while? Well, as embarrassing as it may be, I caught the bug. I think I made it to day 21 before I realized that it was not a cool thing… What-errr. No regrets! YOLO

However shameful it really is, I have to show it off. As you can see in the photo on the left, day 4’s challenge was a photo of a place you’d like to visit, and I put “Madrid, Spain. I hope to go in Spring ‘12!!” 

And that I did. (Twice.) 

Look at me nah. Look at me nah. Bandz o hundos. Rollin in mah Lamborghini. LOLz jk I’m no rapper, but I can play the part pretty well, I’d say. (Just substitute the Lamborghini with a ‘97 Oldsmobile with a broken window and a dead battery.)

But honestly, when I was in Madrid, and I recognized those buildings from that picture I had googled a year prior, it was just so exhilarating to realize that I was now standing in that very spot- challenge accomplished!

"Vigo en Londres"

This video shows so many of the important parts of Vigo! So impressed. Makes me miss my old city immensely. 

East Coast, USA

So I know I’ve skipped a million things, but I need to stop caring about the order and just start writing while I remember. 

This weekend I’m in Rhode Island visiting my Uncle Mark and Aunt Adela for their kids’ baptisms! They asked me to be their baby son Luke’s godmother - yay! He’s literally the cutest. He cries when I hold him, but I’m sure he’ll come around. 

Anyways, we had the day today to tour Boston! It was sooo cool seeing such an awesome historical city in the US! It reminded me of Spain a little bit, seeing the old buildings mixed in with the new. There was a shopping square that reminded me of Seville specifically. Right by the Old State House (site of Boston Massacre) was an Abercrombie & Fitch store - weird! 

We only had a few hours to tour, and with Warren complaining about his feet and grandma slowing things down a bit, we couldn’t pack in as much as I’ve gotten used to while in Europe. 

I’ve never really thought much about the east coast before. All I think of is the obvious - New York city. But seeing Boston has really made me excited to brush up on my US history and come back to site-see in my own amazing country. Plus the accents are kinda fun.

*Random thought* My mom and I were trying to remember happened at the Boston Massacre, and were annoyed at ourselves for not paying better attention in school as kids when we learned about it. Why is that? Why don’t we care as kids? And why do we care so much now?

I just think it’s so cool to ponder the thought that less than 300 years ago, we won our independence from the bloody redcoats and developed this entire amazing country. So proud! 

Made it home!

After almost 24 full hours of traveling! 

Already experienced a few culture-shock moments:

Went out to dinner with my mom and Warren. Ordered food in English. Knew what everything was on the menu. Couldn’t help eavesdropping on other conversations because they were in English (in Spanish, it’s impossible without making an effort, so I just don’t). And just being back in Milwaukee in general. 

More to come :)

Spending my last night crying and packing. Saying goodbye was the worst. I can’t believe this is happening. It doesn’t seem real. 

Went surfing today!

Just me and a German named Dietrich. I couldn’t really get up, but it was fun trying! I couldn’t breathe afterwards because my throat was so sore from all the saltwater going up my nose, and because it is EXHAUSTING. My last couple of tries, I could barely even paddle out with the waves… 

I would go again tomorrow, but I’m already sore right now. So it won’t be physically possible. 

But I’d call it a successful third last day in España. 

Last Monday in Spain

I’ve been crying every day since last week Tuesday. Saying goodbye to people is the worst, especially when you have no idea if/when you will ever see them again… 

I can’t believe it’s coming to an end!

I had to say goodbye to my besties in Spain, Jessica (from Cali) last night, and Theresa (Minnesota) this morning. It didn’t seem real that they were actually leaving. We hang out just about EVERY DAY. 

Them leaving made me realize that it’s actually ending here. It’s just so bizarre. Because this is our lives now. This is what we do. We ‘Chat & Beer’ on Wednesdays. We meet at the beach when it’s nice out.  We eat tapas at Café Brasil. We pick up our bags to experience a new city on the weekends. 

But this whole time has just been a random fantasy world that I got to experience for 4 and a half months, and now it’s time to come back home….

I love my country

I met with my tandem partner, Rafa for the third time yesterday. We got into the topic of stereotypes of Americans, and if you haven’t noticed, I get really offended and how the world judges the US. 

Rafa was saying how everyone thinks we eat fast food all the time, we’re bad dressers, and we’re full of ourselves. I told him about the stereotypes that we learned in my class that I posted about on here, and he could tell I was getting a little riled up.. (can’t help it. I just get pissed.) He made it clear that he doesn’t think these things, which calmed me down a little for a nanosecond. 

It happened to be Memorial Day yesterday, and I told him how everyone goes to a service to honor the people that died for our country - they’re the reason that we’re still free and still protected. Then we have Veteran’s Day, to appreciate those that are living, who receive all kind of benefits from the government for their entire lives. And on the Fourth of July everyone just goes crazy, because we love our free country and want to celebrate how lucky we are to have our rights and independence. 

He then agreed that these attitudes have been misunderstood by the world as conceitedness, which is ridiculous. 

He also said that his father notices that Americans always identify themselves with the American flag versus that of their state. For example, here in Spain, if an athlete wins a competition, he doesn’t wave the Spanish flag, but the flag of his ‘autonomous community’ (a region of Spain, e.g. Galicia). A few are actually trying to break off as new countries. Rafa’s father thinks it’s awesome that our country is HUGE we ALL wave the American flag.

I do, too! That’s what makes us the United States! 

When you get back to your own bed after a weekend in hostels