Some of my most treasured college memories are getting to hang out with frat stars, writing the police beat for the student newspaper (so entertaining), and studying abroad in Seville, Spain. My time abroad was brief but still turned out to be one of the most fulfilling and enlightening experiences of my life. I came back to finish my Junior year of college with a new outlook on life, a much wider Spanish vocabulary, and a shitload of new clothes from Zara.
While the majority of those who study abroad choose to chronicle their experiences on a blog, I decided to be romantic and write in a journal. This isn’t that weird for me though. I actually kept a diary/journal for most of my early-late adolescence and have filled at least three journals, the first of which I called “Lila” and only wrote in cursive. I call my current diary Beyonce. My grandma gave me a Lily Pulitzer journal before I left for Spain and I promised her I would fill it with spectacular stories from my travels. In the beginning I was really good about writing every day…but then every day turned into every week. By the end of the three months I had managed to fill about 20 pages. Here are some of my favorite snippets.
“Whatsup! Yo soy Christina. Y este es mi diario de mis tiempos en Espana. Tonight is my first night in the residencia. It’s pretty chill.”
Wow, Abroad Xtina, you know how to write in Spanish! You are SO SMART!
“…Today was also pretty chill. We went to Toledo AKA The Imperial City. Toledo was beautiful. We saw a really old cathedral and we also saw the Count Orgaz painting by Goya. I love looking at artwork. Paintings are so cool in real life/up close.”
“…I saw a few paintings that I studied at school in my art history class with that fatass teacher Mr. Smith.”
“…Last night we went barhopping. At one point I jumped up onto the bar and danced. Things got wild. I’m pretty sure I stole a six pack of beer and I’m 100% sure I made out with a Spanish guy wearing a backpack and a necklace. Score!”
*Slow clap* Let’s see what other “cool” things I write about.
“I’m going to make this relatively brief. Today we went to the coastal town of Cadiz. It was picturesque. Unfortunately, I did not evenly apply sunscreen on my back so now I have a burn. Sucks to suck.”
I love this next one because I remember the night so well and it still stands as one of the best nights of my life.
“Last night was possibly the funniest/craziest night of my young adult life. First we went to Calle Batiz where we chatted with some Americans who construct blimp landing sights for a living.”
“…At 3:30 we decided to go somewhere else. This is where the night gets krazeey. It was this huge outdoor club called Casino. There were tons of people and like 6 different bars. The music was a great mix of American pop and Spanish music. I danced with a really hot guy. He has my number but I doubt I’ll see him again. We stayed out until 5 am. That’s the latest I’ve ever stayed out. I slept until 2 today….”
“This past weekend I went to Lagos, Portugal. It was great. Pristine waters, sunny weather, and good company. Lagos is a Coastal City and draws a lot of vacationers. Lagos used to have a slave trading market.”
11/4/11 (This is all from my trip to Amsterdam. I spent 4 days there.)
“Amsterdam was quite the experience. Sure, I smoked a lot of weed, but I also did a lot of fun stuff and met some interesting people.”
“…I met two Americans at the connecting flight gate. We talked about drugs and music, and the two of them bonded over maintaining long distance relationships and how hard it was for them. I just listened.”
“…After resting for a bit I called Morgan. Catherine and I met up with her and her pretentious friend, Michelle, at a lounge called Bump. Michelle basically told us her life story…and it seemed like she was lying about a lot. She told us she was allergic to her mom’s breast milk. Like girl, I just met you…maybe don’t come straight out the gates with that.”
“…After walking for a while we went to a bar and drank Heineken (Holland’s signature beer). The bar was right next to a Prostitute Store (I don’t know what to call it).”
“We closed the night with chocolate waffles (obviously). I’m on a really strict diet of only carbs and sugar. It’s going really well.”
There’s the “Freshman 15” and then there’s the “Abroad 20”
“We walked through town, both of us were high as a kite. I probably spent 30 minutes deciding which postcards to buy.”
“That night we decided to do a pub crawl in Leidseplein. I French kissed a French guy…a real French kiss!”
“That night we decided to see an improv show at Boom Chicago. Before the show I ate a rather large space cake. I giggled through the entire show.”
“We finished our Amsterdam trip with a visit to the Sex Museum. Eh. I was not a fan.”
Not into the history of dildos. Just being honest.
So that’s about all that is worth sharing. The rest is a mess of poorly written anecdotes sprinkled with random observations like “The cheese was soo good” or “The town was soo cute.” I had a lot of fun looking back through this journal because it made me nostalgic for Europe.