Oliver in Spain: The Last Week

Well this is it…I am staring down the last three days I have in this amazing city before hopping a flight back to the US. These last four months have been life altering, to say the least, but before I get into the emotions I’m feeling and what’s going in my head I want to let you all know what I’ve been crossing off my list.

Since I first arrived here I have wanted to go to the aquarium, L’oceanográfico. This aquarium is the biggest in Europe and the fourth biggest in the world! So with a week left I went with a friend to witness the wonder of the Beluga Whale…amongst many other marine animals. The aquarium most certainly did not disappoint and I left feeling satisfied with multiple shark tunnels, every fish you could think of, and a dolphin show!

Oliver shark
With that off my list I only had to do one more thing: enjoy the Valencia Christmas festivities. This activity consisted of getting a big group of friends together and heading to the center of the city (Plaza de Ayuntamiento), where they had an ice skating rink, a massive Christmas tree, and lights all over the place. We arrived around 10:30 to blaring Christmas music and joyful faces everywhere. I have to admit that seeing Christmas lights wrapped around a palm tree is not the Christmas festivities that I have become accustomed to but you’d be surprised how little it matters as long as you have good company! We ended up ice skating for almost 2 hours before heading off to an awesome Irish pub down the road.

Oliver iceskate
That pretty much wrapped up the weekend festivities before heading into finals week, the best week of the year…As I’m writing this blog post I have finished all but one exam. The end is near! Unfortunately, that also means the end of my semester is near. I currently have less than three full days left here and realizing that definitely feels a little weird.

Without a doubt Valencia has become a kind of home for me. The friends that I have made here will stay with me for a long time. After all, transitioning to a whole new culture with a different language brings you close to people. I am very comfortable with my host family as well, and will miss them a lot once I leave. Last night at dinner I said how weird it was to be wrapping up my final week here. My host brother responded by saying “Aww…que mal, que triste” (How bad, how sad). I will surely miss our fútbol/basketball sessions.

With that said, I want to say how excited I am to be returning home. This semester flew by but traveling almost every weekend really wears on you and I am looking forward to some R&R. I can’t wait to see my family again, but before thinking too much about that I get to enjoy two more soccer matches (students v. students and students v. professors) as well as one last night out all together.

My next post will be submitted from the States, about a week after getting back home. I’ll let you all know how much I am missing Valencia then, I’m sure it will be a lot, and let you know how I’m transitioning to being back in the States.

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