This will be the last blog post I am writing; thus, my time in Madrid is almost over. It´s getting cold outside, and the city starts to light up every night. Madrid is full of astonishing Christmas decorations, and going back home seems to come so close now. The last couple of weeks passed by real quick. I tried to see as much as possible before the exam season started. Furthermore, friends and family came to visit, so I was always out showing them around the city and going to my favourite restaurants. My friends and siblings were incredibly excited to go out and party since they couldn’t do so in the last weeks in Germany. I am so happy to have gotten to know a new culture and for making so many new friends that turned into family. Even my flat here turned into my new home. Every day I come back home after university, I throw myself onto the couch and relax with my flatmates before going out again. I am so happy here, and I cannot express how grateful I am for being in this city and having met all those amazing people. I am proud to know that I have friends all over Europe, and I am so excited to visit them in their cities next summer. We have already planned an interrail Trip. Madrid will always have a special place in my heart. I know for a fact that I will return to Madrid at a later point In my life. I have already been to Madrid when I did my gap year in 2018/2019, and I am so happy that I decided to come back this time for my semester abroad. I will stay for one further month, until the end of January. I plan to go to a language school and improve my Spanish since I am also doing my Internship in Spain and therefore need a certain level of proficiency.
But one thing is for sure; I will always come back to Madrid.
Overall, Madrid is the perfect student city. It is full of life, and there are always things to do. I think I have not been bored once during my stay. There are so many cool restaurants, bars, clubs. I am so grateful that I was here during Covid and that I could enjoy my student life after being in quarantine for the last three semesters in Berlin.
Last but not least, I want to say thank you to the ones that have followed Lily and me throughout our journey in Madrid.
Tomorrow in two weeks, one day before Christmas, I will leave Madrid for Berlin. For good. I can´t process it, and I wish that time would stop running. Everything has an end, especially a semester abroad, but my mind still can´t grasp it. I knew that I had to leave. I don´t feel ready to leave now. Over the past month, Madrid became my home, I made friends, made so many memories, saw so much of Spain; I even went to Morroco and had a normal university experience which was not possible due to COVID-19. When I go out, I randomly meet people on the streets of Madrid. Last Monday, I ran into two girls from university in front of a club. When I was in the club, I ran into two other guys I met on trips and used to run into sometimes. Should I have told them that I am leaving already? Sometimes you see people or do things for the last time without knowing. I know that I will see the girls in my class tomorrow. Also, I already said goodbye to the club I went to with my friends. But I didn´t tell my acquaintances that I am leaving. They looked so happy when they saw me, and I was happy too. It felt like a full-circle moment.
Will they be confused when they don´t run into me anymore? Will anyone notice that I left Madrid? Someone else will move into my room very soon, which feels wrong. It´s my room, my flat, my flatmates, my neighbourhood. My flatmates are talking in the kitchen, and I can´t imagine going back to Germany. The semester abroad in Madrid changed me so much as a person that I don´t know how I can go back to my old life. I knew that a semester abroad would be an extraordinary experience, even life-changing, but I didn´t understand what people meant when they said that. I feel like my old self doesn´t exist anymore. I mean, I am still me, but somehow I feel so different. A friend of mine visited me three weeks ago, and she told me that I had changed. But in a good way. I feel more secure, outgoing, confident than ever, and I know now what I want. But when you know what you want, it also means that you start to realize what you don´t want anymore. This can also mean that you outgrow people or begin to realize that you think some friendships you used to cherish are not working for you anymore for some reason. My semester abroad made me realize that I am in control. This is my life, and it´s my responsibility to take action. This realization is as terrifying as it´s empowering. It is probably the same way with leaving Madrid. It´s as sad as it is happy. I can´t wait to see my family and friends again, and I know they also miss me. The transition will be hard, but I have so many things to look forward to. And I will experience them all, starting one day before Christmas.
Thank you for reading our blog posts and following us on our adventure!
All the best,
Isa and Lily J