Two summers ago I had the opportunity to travel to Spain for two months to study abroad. It was… an interesting trip. The people I went with were awesome, and it was a beautiful country, but the trip had its fair share of disappointments. I think they pumped so much hype into the “study abroad experience” that I went in with my expectations pretty high, and unfortunately, they weren’t quite met.
What I did love about that summer was having the opportunity to travel to places I’ve never seen before. We mostly hopped around to different cities in Spain on the weekends, but me and the other three students who were there for both June and July (most of our group was only there for one month) took a long weekend trip to London in between sessions.
I think I can confidently say that my favorite part of that summer was at the end of my time in Spain when I was able to fly up to Sweden to visit my aunt and uncle for a few days. What made this trip so amazing was the fact that I was with family who knew their way around (now don’t get me wrong, fumbling with maps and exploring with friends is a wonderful thing, but after a long summer of that, it was nice to hand the reigns to the professionals), made sure I had ice cream everyday, and knew that I wasn’t into touristy things; I just wanted to be able to see the country for what it is. And let me tell you, it is beautiful.
The first day I was there,we took a ferry to an island where you had to rent bikes to get around. We biked through fields of wheat and barley, took a nap on a little beach, snacked on cookies we carried in the baskets of our bikes and had lunch at the cutest little restaurant. It was the most magical day filled with so many of my favorite things and I’m pretty sure I had the cheesiest smile plastered on my face the whole time.
Throughout the rest of my stay, we had picnics, browsed antique shops, went to a jazz concert and a hidden art gallery, and stopped at little yard sales along the street where I got some beautiful Hoganas pottery. Almost everyone we spoke to was so intrigued as to why I was in Sweden. They were all so friendly.
I sent a picture of myself in front of this little house to Kurt and he told me he was concerned that I was fitting in a bit too well and that I might not want to come back home. By the end of my summer I was quite ready to go home, but I will absolutely jump on any opportunity I have to go back to Sweden.