Take-Off! Pre-Flight Thoughts on Salamanca Adventures

Santiago David
January 17, 2019

Clothing? Check

Passport? Check

Chargers? Check

Excitement? Check

Euros? Well, not so much

Hi everyone! My name is Santiago *click that link!* and I am a Junior at Claremont McKenna College in sunny California. Right now, I am in not-so-sunny and way colder Chicago waiting for my flight to depart. As you can see, my to-do list is slightly incomplete. Given my current situation, I think my list will stay that way. While theoretically I am all ready for six months in Salamanca, Spain, in actuality the next 18 hours may be a bit of an adventure. I'd like to take credit and thank the academy for nominating me as the adventurer of the year, but I really can't. Fact of the matter is I basically didn't read the instructions and now get to figure out my way to my homestay in Salamanca from Madrid.

While this creates a few interesting twists to my first hours in Europe, it also provides numerous opportunities. Really, can you think of a better way to immerse yourself into a culture than diving straight in? This way I'll get to interact with locals, make my first few contacts/friendships, and get myself out of my comfort zone. In many ways, these are the reasons I chose to study in Salamanca. Having grown up speaking both English and Spanish at home, and having previously lived in Mexico, Spain now offers the chance to further strengthen my Spanish. It also creates the perfect situation to test myself beyond my level of comfort - and hopefully grow as a person - as I will know literally nobody within hundreds of miles. Add in that I'm not super sure how to get to my homestay or if my debit card will work right away in Europe and we are well on our way to discomfort.

However, first things first: a flight to Zurich and a flight to Madrid. Then a bus. And then a taxi. As the flight now starts to board I hope I have enticed you enough with this short start to follow along on my journey. While I may not be able to take you to Europe, I hope my stories will create the excitement to convince you to travel there.

As this first scene ends, wherever you may be, I wish you all the best and I encourage you to go outside of your comfort zone. You never know where you may end up.

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Santiago David

<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin-top:.4pt; margin-right:12.05pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin-left:5.5pt"><span style="line-height:103%">I am a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. Growing up, I moved from Colorado, to Mexico, to California, and ultimately to South Bend, Indiana. You can typically find me either hosting campfires and cooking s'mores with strangers or watching and playing sports. I am currently on a journey to seek and experience social discomfort. It's a pretty great time, so I hope that you will join me!</span></p>

2019 Spring
Home University:
Claremont McKenna College
South Bend, IN
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