Thank You

The vitality of human connections.

Everyday for three months, I was surrounded by unfamiliar human beings. Human beings who made me laugh, human beings who added unneeded obstacles to my life, human beings who showed me a different way of being and illustrated the importance of the human connection.

I made friends from South Korea to Australia, learned to tell jokes and make people laugh in a different language, ate food that was prepared with hundreds of years of prior-passion and sipped countless cervezas on the Mediterranean sea. I experienced terror when their was a fire on the fifth floor of our apartment building and we were helpless on the twelfth. I got lost in the busy streets of Milan and survived the kind of turbulence where you are convinced that you’re going down.I felt appreciation, curiosity, hate, empathy, confusion and love for strangers in passing. To those strangers, thank you for providing me with the opportunities to metamorphosize into a form of the human being that I strive to be.

To my class and professors, gracias por todo and for showing me that it is possible to await class with excitement and the motivation to learn.

To the waiters at Tandoori-Mex, first, thanks for the twice-a-week Tikka Masala dinner-sessions. Secondly, thanks for adding just a little more tequila to our margaritas than the average-customer!

To the barista at the small cafe below our apartment; thanks for being interested in our story as we shared our morning coffees together.

To the man who went out of his way to return my dad’s wallet after he un-knowingly dropped it, thanks for your kindness that is often seen as unnecessary by many.

To the grandfather who let me cut the five-person line and ensured it was okay with the other customers because I was just buying water, thank you for going out of your way to help a student get to class on time!

To our landlord, Adolfo, thank you for showing us your city with pride.

To Hong, Alfonso and Jasper… thanks for the unforgettable Jägermeister nights and South Korea and Holland music videos.

Thanks to the bus drivers who kept a smile after driving hundreds of people around the city for hours, the Segway tour guides that were always fun to listen to and the countless street musicians that added another layer of beauty to Málaga.

To Drew for never failing to make my study abroad experience in Málaga that much more memorable.

After having a month to reflect on my three months in Spain, I remember the people I met, not the pictures I posted or the likes I received but the comfort I felt and the knowledge I gained from meeting other human beings from around the globe. If you are about to embark on your study abroad adventure, remember not to live through your phone or behind a camera lens;  all you have to do is walk along the winding cobblestone streets of Florence or sun-bathe on the white-beaches of the Mediterranean, work with elephants in Thailand or sample some chimichurri sauce in Argentina. The rest of your experience will fall into place and you will leave your temporary-home with a new mentality on living life to your greatest potential.

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