Need to know:

Granada is VERY dangerous!!!!!!!!

I’m serious, you guys. You really need to be prepared before you come here. There are pastry shops on practically every corner. And cafés and candy stores galore! Then there are these things called “alimentación shops” which have like all the junk food of a gas station without the gas pumps! What makes it so dangerous is that there’s this period of time in Spain called descanso where you have a second mini-breakfast. You actually have an extra hour or so to go out and calmly drink a cup coffee and eat a tostada (suggestion: order it with tomato, cheese, and olive oil!). But these stores reel you in and you walk out 10 euro later with your arms full of muffins and croissants.

 

- – DANGEROUS!!! – -

Here’s how to defend yourself:

  • Bring a lock box to put your money in and hide the key from yourself so you don’t feel tempted to spend more money.
  • Pack blinders so your eyes stay focused only on the road ahead of you.
  • Practice phrases such as “No tengo hambre” or “No, gracias.”
  • Swear off caffeine. Let’s be honest, coffee is just the gateway drink to eating the most delicious…warm…chocolate-filled, flaky pastry that’s ever graced your lips. Seriously, who would want that?
  • Practice the art of race walking (Olympic speed walking):

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Now you’re all set for your stay in Granada. Go get ‘em, tiger!

 

**DISCLAIMER**

I know that safety is a serious concern for many people studying abroad, especially for the first time. It’s been a whirlwind of a first few weeks here in Granada and I just wanted to put something lighter out there. I have more serious posts planned that will go into more detail about daily life here and what to expect, so stay tuned for those! I’m hoping to just have most of them up this month to make up for lost time!

Until next time!

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Wow. I’m actually doing this.

Hi there!

I’m Ashlee – Psychology & Spanish double major, Co-chair of Wofford Service Club (check us out! -shameless promo), lover of music, photography and lists, proud Terrier, and procrastinator extraordinaire! In 22 days I will be getting on my first flight, laying over in Belgium, and touching down again in Spain. From now until I return home, I’ll be blogging about my experiences as an American abroad as well as a ‘diverse’ student (Latina and first-gen). Ha, no pressure.

Countdown to Granada!

 

When the fall semester ended in mid-December, I had time. I only bought my plane ticket a week ago. I’ve made lists in every possible place of what to do, who to call, appointments to schedule, things to buy, etc. Needless to say, I’m behind. I have 3 weeks to go aaaand haven’t exactly bought my suitcase yet…oops. But, thanks to the super-helpful meetings held by the Office of International Programs, I know what I need to do. Now, if only I could stop procrastinating long enough to do it!

 

 

 

Things to do include:

  • Buy a big winter coat – it’ll be *real* winter when we get there (and there’ll be snow!!)
  • Brush up on local slang and Psychology terms
  • Get my wisdom teeth pulled…yikes!
  • Talk to the bank about fees and getting my currency changed over
  • Search YouTube for more Granada travel guides! #protip
  • Meet with other friends who’ve been to Granada and ask any and all remaining questions
  • Buy an outlet converter!
  • Look for more places for weekend photography trips
  • Pack, unpack, repack x2
  • Learn how airports actually work…

For months now, my friends who’ve already studied in various parts of Spain have been telling me how beautiful Granada is and how they wish they could’ve spent more time there. They’ve got me pretty hyped to see it for myself. I’ve watched hours of online travel guides of things to do, where to go, and what to avoid to get at least some sense of what life en España is like. It’s really eased some of my worries and gave me some really good trip ideas (photography trip around La Costa del Sol, anyone?). Luckily, some of my close friends also sent me a “Granada Survival Guide” (shout out to Julie and Kelsey!) with their tips and tricks they learned while in Granada. Here’re some of the other things I want to try while I’m there: visiting the Alhambra after nightfall to see the city all lit up, taking time to get lost on purpose, watch/join the procession during Semana Santa, visit Ronda and Frigiliana, attempt to try seafood (no promises), and maybe give skiing a try!

While thinking about this trip, there were several concerns that came to mind. I’m worried about my safety just as most people traveling abroad are. What if there’s a terrorist attack? What if I get robbed? I can, and will, take steps to avoid getting robbed as much as I can (money belts, keeping money on me in several places, keeping a constant eye on my belongings, etc) but major attacks are still frightening. Luckily, I have travel insurance through my program and they’ve given us information about what to do in such events. My other major concern will probably resonate more with language majors: language barriers and embarrassing flubs. They’re bound to happen. I think it will be a definite learning curve, but a very useful experience.

Now, enough with worrying thoughts! Here’s what I’m most stoked for:

  • COFFEE!!
  • Free tapas!
  • New friends!
  • For my Instagram (@the.sempiternal.journey) to become a travel blog
  • Learning Flamenco
  • Bettering my Spanish and myself on this journey!

I’m not sure what this blog will become, but expect tons of photos, useful tips, and (hopefully) interesting stories! Here’s to new experiences!

Follow me on Instagram!

See you soon!

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