Oh the places you'll go

Benjamin Streeter
October 27, 2015
Oh the places you'll go thumbnail

Psst—Ben, you haven’t done a blog in… too long.

I know! I know, it’s just that everything is happening and if it’s not happening then it would be happening except that everything else is already happening. Craziness, really.

So in the upcoming future, I’m going to deliver on some overdue tales. These include academics at Carlos III, walking 100 km to Segovia, homestays, a trip to Paris, everyday normalcy, and more. But with so much going on, right now I just want to pause and talk about all the traveling that’s possible when you’re abroad. And I’ll share some pictures along the way too.

If you’re interested in traveling to other countries while you’re abroad (and you definitely should be), jump on the ball and start looking for flights as soon as you’ve settled in. That way you’ll be able to fly to Morocco and back for less than $50, like 10 of us are doing in November. Try and get your exam schedule as soon as possible too, so that way you know the weekends you probably shouldn’t travel.

And you can find a 4 day weekend to walk from Madrid to Segovia...

You don’t just have to be looking far away too. Even taking a bus or train and a nearby city or town can be a great trip. The previous trip we did to Asturias in the north of Spain was a completely different experience than the central, Madrid lifestyle.

It's a completely different life in different parts of Spain

Of course all that being said, you have to make some difficult choices. This is especially true for people who are in my boat, where our classes aren’t pass/fail and directly transfer over to our home schools. So can’t exactly shirk all responsibility and just travel till my heart’s content (or my bank account’s demise).

Before I Die... I want to travel everywhere!!

And in order to go to Paris relatively cheaply, I had to miss out on the IES sponsored tour of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Real Madrid’s world-famous home field. But I’d already made it to a game, so it was deemed a worth trade off.

The Real Madrid match was quite an experience

It’s the classic lesser of two evils’ opposite twin: the better of two bests (or something like that). Berlin or Paris or London or Reykjavik or Tangier or Prague or… Honestly, the sheer number of opportunities held me back from making decisions at first. I want to go everywhere. But then I quickly realized I was kind of running out of time already (which is crazy).

This pigeon is a metaphor for time running out because I say it is...

And another thing that contributed to this is the fact that even everyday life is like a brand new mini-experience that just starts over after 24 hours. There’s always new words to learn, new museums to visit, new people to meet, new food to taste, new places to see, etc., etc. I can hardly sit still except to rest from all the busy-ness.

Everyday sights in Madrid. Why go anywhere else?

It’s easy to not book a flight a month and a half in advance when there’s so much going on in the here and now. Combine that with the great friends I’ve made through the program as well as outside of it, and it may seem unnecessary to spend time in another place.

More everday life back when it was still shorts and t-shirt weather

But honestly, after traveling to Paris for the first time in my life (I just got back like 5 hours before writing this), it’s well worth it to tear yourself away from whichever amazing city and see what else is out there. The experience you get will only augment the amazing-ness of the study abroad program.

A mandatory Eiffel Tower picture

Inside the d'Orsay Museum clock in Paris

So apparently, this post turned into something about traveling while you’re studying abroad. Which I’m okay with, cause it’s an amazing thing to do. Soon (I promise), I will have a comical video about that walk to Segovia I talked about, as well as a look into academics at Carlos III and IES and some interesting concepts related to my (solo) trip to Paris.

Paris didn't happen unless you take a selfie...

Thanks for reading and looking and good travels!

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Benjamin Streeter

<p>Hey all you humans, my name&#39;s Ben, and I just happen to be living in Madrid, Spain! I&#39;ll be here total for 6 months (I came early for an internship), and I&#39;ll be sharing my explorations, the city, travels, school, highs, lows, I&#39;m-not-quitesure- what&#39;s, friends, random people who I&#39;ve never seen, and more! I&#39;ve moved around a lot back home in the states, but currently I live around the corner from Milwaukee, WI, and go to Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN where I study Mechanical Engineering and (for now at least) Communications Studies and anything else that&#39;s interesting. Now I&#39;ve gotta go and try and contain my excitement... I typically take headshots for other people, so a selfie will have to do...</p>

2015 Fall
Home University:
Vanderbilt University
Engineering - General
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