06 Jul Leaving my small hometown in Canada for Madrid
Leaving your hometown to go live in a whole new city can be quite scary. I left my hometown in Canada to fly directly to Madrid. I was travelling alone for the first time ever and I was anxious about it. When I landed in Madrid, I easily found my way to the pick up location that was set by my Absolute Program Coordinator. As we waited for the others to arrive, I chatted with some of the other interns and got to know a little bit about them. As a group, we grabbed a couple cabs and headed to the accommodations. We were so excited to see the city, so a bunch of us decided to go for a walk to get a taste of where we would be living for the next month or two.
After we were all rested and settled, our Absolute Program Coordinator took us to our first group dinner. We took the metro to Puerto del Sol, the center of the city, and found the restaurant. Of course, we had tapas! It was a great experience to be surrounded by new friends, learning about them and beginning to bond. We all chatted over sangria and beer while trying some Spanish cuisine for the first time.
The weekend that followed was full of adventuring! We explored the city of Madrid and although it was exhausting we were all amazed by the beautiful city that we were living in. We took a bus tour and visited Parque del Retiro with the Palacio Cristal, Palacio Real, Plaza Mayor, and much more! It was a weekend that was full of the typical tourist activities.
My first weekend in Madrid was quite eye-opening. The culture, the cuisine, the people and the metro were very different than what I was used to seeing, but I loved every minute of it! The public transport, which includes the subway, the train and the bus systems, were kind of intimidating for me, as I come from a city that barely has a bus route. I was happy to have our Program Coordinator guide us for the first few days because it was a relief to not be on our own in a completely new city.
We all arrived on a Friday and we had our first day of work on the Monday. When I woke up on the morning of my first day, I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I left early to give myself time to find the location of my work. I arrived and I was given a quick tour of the building then chatted with my fellow colleagues, as most of them spoke a bit of English. I started the day with smaller tasks just to get started! At the end of the day, I met with the other interns on the terrace in our accommodations and we all talked about all of our first days at work.
Overall, it was an exciting and scary, yet rewarding first few days in the city of Madrid! The other interns and I bonded so quickly and I felt as though I had known them for 2 years rather than just 2 days. I am already not looking forward to leaving this amazing city! I can tell this trip will be a trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to make unforgettable memories with the other interns.