Each night at dinner, my host dad, Juan, asks me “Qué aprendes hoy en esquela?“ which means “What did you learn today at school?” I always know this is my time to shine, yet slightly embarrass myself with the few short Spanish phrases I learned that day. I always manage to stumble my way through simple phrases such as “ Yo tengo el pelo morena” (“I have brown hair”) or “Julia está a mi izquierda” (“Julia is to my left”). The whole time Juan and his wife, Carolina, gaze at me with looks of pride on their faces and a smile from ear to ear. When I complete what feels like my show for the evening, they both praise me for a job well done and Juan says “Más mañana”. This means “more tomorrow”, and I know that tomorrow he just wants to hear more of what Spanish I learned at school. But to me, tomorrow holds so much more than what I will learn in Spanish class. Each tomorrow is a new opportunity for exploration, self-growth, and a chance to create unforgettable lifelong memories.
Tonight I sat on the beach with my newly made UMass Lowell and international friends. The Jazz Festival echoed down the shore and Jesus disappointingly looked down upon us from his stoop on the mountain for staying out so late the night before. It was a relaxing night with good company and a breath taking view of the sunset that I am so lucky to get to watch with a front row seat every night. I will take home with me and cherish the simple nights like I had tonight and the more boisterous ones like I had the prior night where my foreign friends kept me out until the sun began to rise. However, it is on the nights like tonight where I am able to sit back and reflect that makes me thankful for today and eager for tomorrow.
“Tomorrow” is a chance to learn more about the Basque country and those who inhabit it. “Tomorrow” is a chance to impress the shopkeeper I buy my daily croissant from by boldly stating “Eskerrik Asko” instead of my typical “Gracias”. “Tomorrow” is a chance to navigate this foreign city on a quest for the biggest bocadillo you can buy for less than 5 euro.
There is so much more to learning than just sitting in a classroom. And the extravagant and exciting tomorrows will not end when I leave San Sebastián. This is something that I will take with me from my time abroad. When I go home, “tomorrow” will be a chance to share all my wonderful memories with my loved ones. “Tomorrow” will be a chance to utilize all the knowledge and growth I have acquired on this trip. One thing that is always certain is that tomorrow should never be wasted. Tomorrow – rain or shine, sleep deprived or well rested, alone or with friends – is always an opportunity to learn, grow, adventure, laugh and most importantly – eat gelato.