Avoid Tolls

Jake Kunes
July 6, 2018

When the curtains close and your time abroad seems to come to a close, it hits you like a brick wall. At least in my experience, hugging your friends good-bye is the first time you realize it may be the last time you’ll see them again. What may be even worse is realizing you have to go home, back to reality.

So what did I do? Well I decided to extend my stay for a week and travel around the parts of Spain I hadn’t seen yet, of course!

Although IES Abroad policy states you can’t rent a car during your time in the program, I had been able to see parts of Spain through “car” because both the Segovia and Valencia trips were done by bus. Since I thought I was able to see more this way than train, my mom, cousin, and I decided to rent a car from Madrid with no plans, other than to drop it off in Barcelona ten days later where we’d eventually fly home. And as I sit here on the plane, typing away, I can say with certainty that we made it.

Madrid, Burgos, Potes, Llanes, Santander, Bilbao, Zarautz, San Sebastián, San Juan de Luz, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Barcelona. And those are just the places we got out of the car, which means we saw much much more. AND… if you read my last blog, you might understand a little more why day-trips were so difficult for me (not enough time to appreciate each place).

Way too much excitement, right? Well we could’ve had a lot less had we not been driving, and had we not selected the ‘avoid tolls’ option on our G.P.S. Now I have no way of knowing how you like to travel, nor your prior knowledge of Spanish geography. But for me at least, I’d much rather see mountains and oceans than churches and city streets. Spain has it all, and I can tell you that if you plan on extending your stay like me, don’t just take the train. For those of you like me who want to explore- step out and get some fresh air- heed my advice and rent a car. Oh, and go without making plans.

And if you don’t believe me… just look at the pictures I have included, I think they’ll do a better job than myself at explaining what I’m trying to say.

Jake Kunes

<p>I'm always trying to take the road less traveled, whether that means skiing the powder only found in the glades, or trying to ride in waves on my boogie board while the rest of my family tans shoreside. Last summer I took the trip of a lifetime when I spent a week backpacking through Olympic National Park in Washington with a friend. It was an experience I will never forget because it showed me the power of pushing my comfort zone.</p>

Program:
Destination:
Term:
2018 Summer 1, 2018 Summer 2
Home university:
Penn State University
Hometown:
State College, PA
Major:
Finance
Spanish
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