Madrid is but a memory. Freiburg is my new home.

Keila Garcia
February 28, 2017

Freiburg is beginning to feel like home and I thought I would share the goodbye letter I wrote to Madrid in an attempt to compare and contrast my study abroad experiences so far.


"Madrid, my goodbye in writing

If I am honest with myself, I think I unconsciously missed my flight to Germany. I fell in love with the city. I loved that I lived just ten minutes away from the Royal Palace and although I hated climbing five flights of stairs to get to my apartment I became accustomed to it. I became accustomed to seeing the man with the mustache and glasses sitting on the corner of Plaza Mayor painting the same picture. I'll miss walking to Puerta de Sol in order to catch the cercania to Alcobenda San Sebastian de los Reyes. The trains before 10:00 am were always packed with people trying to get to work or school. I’ll miss the smell of orange juice from Sol's zumo stand. I'll miss getting off at Universidad Pontificia de Comillas right before Alcobenda San Sebastian de Los Reyes. I'll miss you Madrid. I'll miss walking in the overcrowded streets heading to Puerta de Sol pretending like I had life figured out. Madrid, thank you for helping me find myself and thank you for giving me the gift of traveling. I saw places I never thought I would see in my life. I experienced some of the worst and best of times of my life. I do; however, want to say that I won't miss the dirty streets and the terrible apartment I was living in. Goodbye, Madrid I will miss every cercania ride. "

Reading this goodbye letter I realize there are a lot of similarities and differences between my experience in Madrid and my experience in Freiburg so far.

1. Freiburg is much cleaner which I appreciate. Germany in general is more environmentally friendly in comparison to other European Union countries. It has taken some time to learn sorting trash here.

2. Freiburg is not nearly as crowded as Madrid. It was a constant struggle to get through crowds in Madrid whereas here in Freiburg it is not as densely populated.

3. Freiburg's city center is ridiculously tiny. Although, breathtaking it doesn’t compare to Madrid’s Puerta de Sol.

4. Freiburg has the Black Forest. No further explanation needed. Nature is my best friend.

5. Freiburg is a biking city! Madrid was barely a walking city.

6. I don’t know German. Whereas in Spain I was able to fully communicate with the locals here in Freiburg I have to rely on my broken German, Google translate, and gesturing when going to the grocery store.

7. IES Abroad has giving me the gift of traveling as well. Within the span of two months I have traveled to Berlin, Prague, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Milan, Verona, Como, Brussels, and Paris.

8. Tourism isn’t a problem in Freiburg which really allows me to appreciate the city to its full potential.

9. In comparison to the five flights of stairs here in Freiburg I only have to climb three.

10. I think it’s possible to be in love with two places.

Keila Garcia

<p>Call me K-E-I-L-A although most people mispronounce my name. I am currently a Government and History major at the University of Texas at Austin. Hook Em! I&rsquo;ve been bitten by the travel bug and am not looking for a cure. As a former small town girl from Brownsville, Texas (I&rsquo;ll forgive you if you&rsquo;ve never heard of it before) I am looking to capture the world through words.</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
University of Texas - Austin
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