Okay we all knew this was going to happen eventually. It’s day three and I found myself in the middle of the city, lost and alone. Now those who know me aren’t surprised, and I will totally embrace the fact that when it comes to navigating an unfamiliar area, I’m usually not the first person my friends turn to when they need someone to lead the way.
First let me back up a bit to provide some context. Today we had our first excursion hosted by the IES Abroad program to Segovia. The sites our tour guide brought us to were amazing. We even had free time to explore the city on our own before we regrouped and had a feast of a lunch at El Rancho de la Aldegüela. After we arrived back in Salamanca a group of us decided to hang out by El Río Tormes to kill time before dinner. Around 8:30pm we migrated to El Plaza Mayor to go our separate ways to our respective homestays. Not only is my homestay in a different direction then everyone else’s but my walking buddy (aka roommate) was back in the house siesta-ing.
For those who aren’t familiar with El Plaza Mayor, it is basically a large square with numerous points of entry around the perimeter. I said goodbye to my classmates and headed out the exit I thought would lead me in the right direction. Now you don’t have to be a detective to figure out exit ~número uno~ was not a wise choice. Before I knew it I was taking turn after turn, trying to navigate narrow streets that were becoming less and less familiar. Fast forward twenty minutes and I finally admitted to myself I was lost. There I was. Alone. No working cell phone. Dinnertime fast approaching. My main concern was that my host mom was trying to contact me and my lack of response would just get her worried. Somehow I stumbled upon the Subway that I knew had free WiFi I could use to get in touch with her, but even THAT wasn’t working in my favor. Fortunately, I didn’t feel scared or unsafe though. I was just super frustrated… and hungry.
For some reason I prefer walking with purpose in an unknown direction instead of staying in one place and looking wicked confused. I mean c’mon, at least it burns more calories. Maybe it comes from the fact that if I were to slowly meander down the streets of Boston in attempts to gain my bearings, I would encounter a lot of glares and utterances of annoyance. Nevertheless, my fast walking speed and adept people weaving practically screamed “¡SOY UNA EXTRANJERA!” (with a really bad American accent). My frantic and directionless darting around ended up paying off because I literally ran into other students from my program. THANK GOD. I asked them to point me in the direction of Gatsby which is a bar I use as a point of reference to get home. The funny thing is just last night I was able to lead my friends from Copas Rotas to La Chupiteria to Gatsby and then walk back home without any problems. I can’t rely on a late night out to trigger my good sense of direction so tomorrow I’m going to grab a friend, actually get a phone that works without WiFi and try to familiarize myself more with the city.
Well I have to get up early tomorrow for a language placement test and subsequent academic advising session. Just thought I would share my little adventure of the night.
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<p style="margin-bottom:12.0pt"><span style="color:#404040">My name is Isabel but unless you’re either my mom, dad or nurse calling me in from the waiting room, I go by Izzie. I am a rising junior at Gettysburg College pursuing a major in the Health Sciences with a minor in Spanish. I have traveled outside of the US before (namely the Philippines where a lot of extended family reside) however, visiting a country for vacation and being totally immersed in it are two completely different experiences and I can’t wait for this new adventure in Spain.</span><span style="text-autospace:none"><span style="font-size:16.0pt"><span style="font-family:"Times",serif"> </span></span></span></p>