A Whole New Life

Reid Larsen
January 25, 2017

Wow where to begin? We’ve done so much in the past week. Time is going by so fast here but being in America feels like forever ago. It feels almost like the beginning of freshman year all over again but a lot more intense and even more is brand new. The culture here is so interesting and there is so much new stuff to learn and to do and to eat. Jamon Iberico and paella are definitely my go-to. Normally, I hate anything to do with tomatoes but I forced myself to try two big tomato slices! Still not at all on the tomato bandwagon but I’m trying to get there. Another food thing -- hot chocolate here is literally just liquid chocolate and if you order churros you can dunk them into the hot chocolate. So good! I highly recommend chocolateria San Gines.


Also, everything is a lot later here. Dinner at 10:00 is tough to get used to. And coming back at 5:00am to wake up at 8:30 is quite difficult but the siestas definitely help. It seriously feels like even if I were to not leave Madrid, I still wouldn’t have time to do all the things I want to do here. But I also want to go everywhere in Europe so we’ll see how things play out.


Living in the colegio mayor was definitely the right choice. Most of my classes are right here so only having to walk downstairs to get to class is a big perk. Having a single room with a sink is really nice. The students here don’t think the dining hall food is that good but I’ve liked the food every single meal so far. On another note, I’m not usually one to approach a random person but I’ve been trying to do it more here. It helps that every person I’ve tried to talk to has been super friendly and honestly just interested in us because we’re foreigners. Many of them see us Americans and want to practice their English but I usually try to convince them to talk to us in Spanish so we can improve.


Deciding to come here without originally knowing anyone was a really good decision for me. It has forced me out of my comfort zone much more often than normal. I’ve met lots of friends and have tried all sorts of new things. We’ve started to make a few Spanish friends here in the dorm and I even met one at a bar last night. I talked with my new amigo Ander for over an hour in Spanish which definitely helped a ton with my understanding and ability to communicate. Talking to random people in Spanish and letting myself speak and mess up is definitely the best way I’ve found to pick up the language. In order to put myself in more of these situations I signed up to have an Spanish exchange partner and to teach little kids English in a local elementary school. I'll let you know how those go.


It’s so easy to get accustomed to life here and just forget the fact how amazing my life is right now. Literally a week ago I would sleep twelve hours a day and pat myself on the back for being productive if I managed to play pickup football for a couple hours. Now, I’m on the other side of the world in an absolutely gorgeous city learning a new language and making new friends. I just booked trips to London France and a week and a half trip to Greece. I’m currently looking into renting a Villa in Mykonos with a beautiful pool and a terrace view of the Mediterranean. Traveling is my favorite thing in the world so life is good. It didn’t fully hit me until I was talking with some of my friends from home. I was talking about these trips and apparently didn't fully convey my excitement -- as if I wasn't that amped that I'm in Europe doing all of this. Reid, take a step back. Do you hear yourself right now? This is what you’ve always dreamed of. Enjoy it! AH I am so happy.

That’s my rant, thanks for making it to the end. I’ll check back in a week or two.

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Reid Larsen

<p>There&rsquo;s nothing like late night, deep talks, and solving the world&rsquo;s problems. In Madrid, I&rsquo;m looking to learn as much as I can, get to know as many people as I can, and get outside my comfort zone as much as I can. Come join the adventure.</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Engineering - General
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