No Es Adios

Juliana Trujillo
December 31, 2018

In four months, I fell in love with a city. I learned how to navigate its streets and beautiful, beautiful metro, expanded my knowledge of its language, and adapted to its eating customs. I also had a blast exploring the country. I may not have been the European jetsetter I initially imagined, but I saw Roman ruins on the southern coast in Cádiz, played in the warm Mediterranean waters in Valencia, stood awed by the grand Moorish architecture in Córdoba and Granada and mudejar style in Sevilla, searched for the frog on the skull on the façade of the oldest university in Spain, and admired the incredible Gaudí works of Barcelona. As I visited all of these areas in Spain, I found that going to each different city was like going to a different country, because of how different they were from each other.

Of course, there were drawbacks: the excessive smoking of a decent percentage of the population, the growing homesickness, and the rigorous academic pressures. As the holidays neared, the areas I had come to love and frequent became crowded and full of tourists—I laughed at myself when I had that particular thought. Because a few short months before, I was taking the train in the opposite direction of my classes, I was visiting all of the major sights of the city and taking pictures of everything. I had become accustomed to the lifestyle and day-to-day sights of beautifully styled buildings used for such seemingly menial purposes, such as a bank or a post office. Every now and then I would stop and mentally pinch myself. I was in Europe, in Spain. I was living life daily in a country other than the one I had grown up in, that spoke a different language.

I was extremely sad to leave it, and coming home was harder than I expected, especially considering how excited I was to see my family. I had a flight that left in the afternoon and arrived in Colorado in the afternoon, making the ten hours I was in the air feel like a timeless limbo. I didn’t experience jetlag going into Spain, but I fell asleep about 6 hours earlier than I normally do and slept a good eleven hours that first night. My sleeping schedule is still adapting to the new timezone, but I haven’t had the heart to change my watch to match it. I am slowly realizing I will never return to the life I had for four months, and it breaks my heart a little, but as my host mom reminded me every time she saw me packing or talking about leaving, Es hasta ahora, no es adios, or "This is a see you soon, not a goodbye." And I love that, because I do want to return, and it reminds me of how much fun I had and how much love I had for the people and places I discovered during my time abroad.

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Juliana Trujillo

<p>Juliana Trujillo is just a girl from Colorado ready to do big things. A love for learning, family support, and food inspired her ambitions to study abroad. She is a Bioengineering major with a Chemistry minor with a passion for promoting STEM equity and equality. In her free time, Juliana loves to read, be outdoors, or read outdoors in addition to spending time with friends and family.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
Santa Clara University
Aurora, CO
Engineering - General
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