Two weeks ago, the Spanish government declared a state of emergency and my study abroad experience in Spain came to an abrupt end. The Spanish universities hadn’t closed down for more than a couple days before I received an urgent email from the University of Toronto calling me back to Canada.
Fast forward to this week and I’m back in Alberta, Canada, awaiting the end of the Coronavirus pandemic (just like many others around the world). Here are some ways that I’m dealing with the swift end of my study abroad experience and staying busy during isolation.
- I Stay In Contact With The Friends I Made In Spain
I spent the last few days before I left, running around frantically like a chicken with its head cut off. In the midst of the packing and booking emergency flights and trying to break my lease, I tried to maintain contact with my study abroad friends. Unfortunately, for me, it was nearly impossible. Everybody was in an airport, on their way to the airport, or coming back from an airport or similar transportation system.
Now that I’m back home and in isolation, I have a monton (the Spanish word for “a lot”) of free time. I’ve been using that time to Facetime with both old and new friends, and to remind my friends how loved and valuable they are to me.
- I Never Say Never
It would be easy to assume that I’ll never see Spain again. Perhaps, I’ll get busy after I graduate from university and start my career here in Canada. Or, I may travel to another part of the world instead of Spain. Even so, life has a crazy way of bringing things full circle and I believe that my journey with Spain is not over. I had amazing times there and I had some not-so-great experiences. All in all, however, the most important lesson that Spain taught me is to trust and depend on myself more. I learned that I am enough on my own.
If and when I do return to Spain, it’ll likely be a world apart from the country I grew acquainted with this past semester. That’s not a reason to be sad, however, but a reason to be excited about going back and learning new things and meeting new people.
- I Stay Active (As Much As Possible)
Did you know that health experts recommend walking a minimum of eight thousand steps per day? I’ve been finding that tracking my steps and keeping the step count high gives me a sense of productivity throughout the day. It gives me an achievable goal to work on everyday. Also, the combination of walking, light cardio and yoga helps my mind stay clear and keeps me from laying in bed all day.