Going on exchange to Spain has always been a fairytale dream of mine and it’s very surreal to finally be able to call Segovia my home. I have been preparing for this adventure all year, endlessly fantasising about the days where I can be “livin’ la vida loca!” And here they are…
I began my exchange journey mid-July, escaping Sydney’s winter blues and using it as an excellent excuse to pursue the delights of Europe’s summer before starting my semester abroad. The Mediterranean is not short on sweet swimming spots and nor is the continent short on the circuit of festivalés. Of course! This is where you would have found me during the weeks leading up to exchange.
If you travel north-west from the capital of Madrid, in 27 minutes on the (extremely) efficient high-speed train, you will find the city of Segovia. I am here for the Fall semester which means September has the leaves falling, but the air is still incredibly warm as if it is just another summer’s day.
Segovia is a town that you explore by foot and wandering aimlessly is the only way you are able to unravel her mystery and discover her charm. The city has the appeal of a traditionally old medieval town, with its many narrow twisting alleyways, fortress walls, Romanesque architecture and is complete with a starry-eyed castle. Tell me, would I be really living my fairytale if there was no castle apparent?!
Fleeing half-way across the world on your own is no doubt absolutely terrifying, particularly when the language spoken in that country is not one you have ever been exposed to…
Dare I admit I naive-ish-ly assumed that conversing in English would not be difficult… considering that my Español is very limited to minding my P’s and Q’s (in other words basically non-existent).
“Mi Español no es bueno” is what I have to repeatedly make known before I whip out my handy-dandy Google Translate app to explain what it is I want. It makes me feel very awkward, especially when I’m just trying to be sincere.
Attempting to communicate in a language that you’re not familiar with is an intimidating experience. But don’t worry the unfamiliarity has not (completely) discouraged me.
I have found that learning to adapt and embrace all that is around me, is an invigorating way to overcome my Spanish anxiety. After all, ¡cuando en España!
Hopefully, the generous time I spend here will mould me into an accomplished Spanish-speaking señorita, allowing me the opportunity to connect with the other 399 million Spanish speakers in the world 🙂