(In reference to the title of this post, my second favorite childrens book series behind Harry Potter)
By principle, I am not a blogger. One, I am extremely critical and doubtful about my writing and rarely like for anyone to read it. Two, my experience with blogs has left me believing them to be quite boring. Blogs are mundane, lengthy itineraries of things done (every detail about your life abroad is not needed, but usually included). Most blogs kill the magic of study abroad. They do not entice the reader to want to be there, to visit and experience. I’ve been guilty of reading blog posts and completely giving up because I found myself having to will myself to finish reading. However, due to constant badgering from my mother wanting to know what I’m up to in Spain (her main argument arises from my ongoing refusal to accept her friend request on Facebook, even though she has yet to actually send me a friend request. Smh, Ma), I have decided to try this whole blog thing out.
I’m going to try and take a different approach with my study abroad blog: I will describe some of the fantasy and magic of Madrid, but in the most simplistic way possible. My hope is that this forces you to imagine it for yourself, forces you to create your own image of Madrid (and possibly entice you want to come visit me?!). I will do my best to keep up with it (anyone who knows how short my attention span is understands how hard this could prove to be) and hopefully, make you want to keep reading.
With this being said, my flight to Madrid is two days from now, and I could not be more stoked. I expect Madrid to be a life-defining experience. I don’t know what to expect and couldn’t be happier about it. I fully anticipate this trip to be one of the best things to happen to me so far in life (only marginally better than that time they started showing Saved By The Bell re-runs on TBS in high school)
(What I would've done for Kelly Kapowski....)
Even with my preemptive giddy-ness, I admittedly haven’t done much research on Madrid (I mean, as little as one can before committing five months of their life to one place). As I alluded to before, I find research fails to communicate the feelings you’ll have once you experience the city for yourself. For example, I can tell you how unbearably hot South Carolina is during the summer, but you can’t really experience the scorching, oven-like aspect until you’re outside in Spartanburg at high noon, baking in the sun. I could research the typical touristy things in Madrid, the best barrios, or the best restaurants/bars, but certain aspects of the city; the feel, the smell, the energy, will remain a mystery until I get there.
Even though study abroad has the unfavorable side-effect of ripping me away from my family, friends, and college that I love for half a year, it will prove to be an experience worth commemorating, of this I am certain. Commemoration through this blog perhaps, a Facebook photo album, or maybe through a crazy couple hours visiting tapas bars, where my failed attempt to talk to a madrileña is, at best, the 5th most regretted action of the night.
My actual trip preparation resembles my research in that I’ve done very little of it. I really didn’t start packing and getting things together until today (we are roughly 48 hours from my flight). Before I leave, I still have to take care of some crucial things on my pre-departure checklist: send a few emails, finish packing another bag, download some movies to my laptop, and eat one last delicious Southern meal (not including one last, tearful trip to Bojangles) before I leave our great nation. Yeah, I know, my definition of “crucial” preparations seems a little skewed, but this blog has an unreliable narrator, so this should not surprise you. And as far as language preparation goes…I have not looked at, read, or heard any amount of Spanish since taking my 307 exam a month ago. So there’s that. I plan to post again once I’ve had enough experiences to write about; could be a tomorrow after an interesting flight, could be a week. Until then, hasta luego.
P.S. If you know me, you know my love for music. With this being said, I've decided to give you guys an appropriate song for each blog post.
This entry's song comes from the beautiful Avett Brothers and describes my view on this upcoming semester: