Stateside Farewell: Journey to Spain

Ashley Carrasco-Hernandez headshot
Ashley Carrasco-Hernandez
September 2, 2023

Not only was my visa process a nightmare but so was getting to Madrid. Something about me is that I tend to overthink things and get anxious because of it, especially since I was only brining a backpack and a carry on. At the time everyone thought I was crazy, and I even started to think that. But my plan was to just bring a backpack and carry-on, while I am in Spain buy a larger suitcase I can check in on the way back. However, this meant I started packing two weeks before my departure so I can rearrange and pack everything nicely for it to fit, with the help of a vacuum storage bag and compressed packing cubes I was able to pack an oversized blanket, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 jeans, 12 shirts, 4 skirts and 4 dresses. I was highly recommended vacuum storage bags and compressed bags for your carry on, if there is not weight limit to yours like my carry on itself was 30lb. But do keep in mind that if you have zero arm strength like me, you will be sore for a couple days. Now back to the airport experience, I got to my airport 3 hours before departure because I was really anxious since it would be my first time flying alone, and of course I decided to fly across the world for my first solo trip. Well anyways, my first flight went smoothly; from California to Atlanta, which was about 4-5 hours. In Atlanta, I had a 4 hours layover which was more than enough time to get to my terminal and a snack or two. Since this next flight was going to be the longest one going from 4 hours to 11ish hours on a plane. The thing about my program was that there was a meeting point at a certain hour which was 10:25 a.m. in Madrid airport, which was fine since I had arranged my plane to arrive an hour before that, but with my luck with airports hasn’t been the best and this one is no exception, right as we were about to go lift off, the plane stopped moving. The reason for is sudden stop was that, I got stuck in the middle of a hurricane. This delayed my flight of one hour which was getting really close to the time I had to meet IES Abroad Salamanca. The whole way I basically slept since I have no recollection but of being stuck on the ground to being in Spain. When we landed it was 10:04, but I didn’t get off the plane until 10:15, I was basically panicking at this point because I thought they would leave me behind and instead would have to take a train or bus, but of course they wouldn’t leave me. I got to the meeting point at 10:30 with no service or anything to get in touch with them and at this point I didn’t see anyone, so I felt like I missed them. But thankfully, I didn’t miss them actually got there and met with my group and basically that’s how our time with IES Abroad Salamanca started. 

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Ashley Carrasco-Hernandez

Hola! I am Ashley Carrasco-Hernandez. I am a first-generation student studying at the University of Redlands. I enjoy painting, watching movies (Fav Movie: Corpse Bride), going to the beach, stargazing, sleeping, and trying new foods!

2023 Fall
Home University:
University of Redlands
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