It’s been just about 10 months since I’ve moved to Spain. It’s the end of the school year and it feels like a good time to take a look at some of the ways I’ve changed in my time abroad. Most are subtle but I do think it speaks to the culture here when I look at what things are important to me now.
- Recycling – I now am an avid recycler. In my apartment, we separate plastic, paper and glass which makes it really easy to recycle. I really started to notice this recently. I have a new roommate who throws out his yogurt cups. Realistically, a year ago, I would have done the same. Now though – I realize that so much can be recycled. The one way that I’m guilty of throwing out plastic is the plastic bags that I use I toss my garbage out. I’m going to start looking into more environmental alternatives.
- The Bus – I take the city bus all the time within Zaragoza. In the states this is not something I would normally do. As it might be obvious – I don’t have a car here nor would I want one. My only issue is along with taking the bus more often has come a serious amount of motion sickness on longer trips. If anyone has any cure-all tips for 40+ minutes in stop and go traffic, I’m all ears.
- Spanish – so obviously living in a foreign country, my language is going to develop throughout the year. I’ve found that the largest change is actually just acquisition of vocabulary. I haven’t really made tons of great grammatical strides. However, I’ve learned lots of useful words and phrases. Also some that aren’t at all useful like “pulpo” (octopus), “dados” (dice), and “murcialago” (bat).
- My English– something unexpected and a little annoying is the way my own language has changed since being here. I’m constantly surrounded by Cambridge Exam preparation which is taught in British English. Our textbooks at school are British English. Any signs in English here are in British English. It makes it hard to not adopt phrases and spelling unconsciously. Even just now, I almost spelled yogurt “yoghurt.” It’s annoying even to me but I refuse to adopt other British-isms.
- Personal Development – so maybe this is obvious but I have spent a lot of time developing myself personally since being here in Spain. I now spend more time doing activities that I consider self-investment. Whether it’s working on my bullet journal or writing this blog or even (gasp) working out – I’ve spent a lot of time becoming more and more confident and comfortable here. I would say that I had a good relationship with myself when I lived in the states but here I take more time to nurture myself. Sounds dorky but I am trying to grow into good mental and physical health one small change at a time.
So those are the things that have most obviously changed for me as I moved to Spain. I’m going to write another post about the ways in which I haven’t really changed since moving here in the upcoming weeks. Let me know if life abroad changed you personally or your perspective below!