Saying Goodbye

After one long and life changing month, I found that the hardest part of this whole trip was saying goodbye. Saying goodbye to endless amounts of cheap jamon and queso. Saying goodbye to all the memories and the new experiences I’ve had. Saying goodbye to the many inspiring people I’ve met and the new friends I’ve made every step of the way. But the hardest and most important goodbye was saying goodbye to the person I was before this trip… If you asked me what about this trip changed I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you. But I know that it has helped me begin to discover and understand a little about who I am as an individual and the person I want to be.

Valencia is a truly a sweet slice of heaven filled with dreamers and big opportunities. I am so fortunate and truly blessed to have discovered my love and appreciation for this city and for all the people who live there. I can say with almost 100% certainty that I will probably be back so for now hasta luego Valencia. Thank you for everything.

Culture Shock

I’ve experienced a few culture shocks since arriving to Spain, the first in which I encountered on my initial trip to Spain. As this was my first solo trip flying internationally, I was generally nervous about flying especially with the various layovers and changes in flights. But I was instantly put at ease with how nice Spaniards are. Everywhere I went, people were very friendly and willing to help if you had issues, which isn’t as common among strangers in the US. This was the same for when I landed and visited various sites. People are more willing to strike up random conversations and generally more welcoming.
Another major shock I had was just how safe the city really felt. I felt really comfortable walking from one destination to another by myself or with a friend at any hour of the day which is quite the opposite in Boston. A friend I made here told me this was because a long time ago Valencians were under strict rule with serious penalties for breaking rules so as a result Valencians adapted to living less recklessly even when the political system had changed.
But overall the thing that shocks me most about Valencia, is how relaxed of a lifestyle people lead. I noticed that here, people “work to live” rather than “live to work” which is the common work ethic in the US. As a result, people look less stressed and well rested. Although this could also just be a result of good genes and copious amounts of olive oil.