Staying Healthy While Abroad

My Balcony

There are several habits I’ve developed to stay physically and mentally healthy while abroad. I’m lucky enough to live near a river, called Rio Genil, with a nice, long flat trail with a beautiful view of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I run there at least two times a week and walk there on other days. When I don’t have time for a run or a long walk to clear my head in between classes, I sit in the sun by the river and either draw, read, or tan. There’s a supermarket right next to where I like to sit, so my friends and I have gone and picked up some snacks there for a picnic before laying by the river to listen to music, relax, and take in the sun on the weekends. That has been one of my favorite things we’ve done on our weekends off in Granada. Being so close to the river is especially great because it reminds me of home. My house in Atlanta is less than ten minutes from the Chattahoochee river, so any time I’m home I go there to run and walk whenever I can. It’s nice to have something so familiar here in Spain too! Another great way to stay physically active are our weekly pick-up soccer games. I haven’t been going to those consistently, but they are a lot of fun and a great way to hang out with and get to know other students in my program. 

Drawing By The River

For me, staying mentally healthy typically involves some sort of alone time and connecting with family and friends back home. I try to call my family and friends as often as possible, but sometimes it can be hard with the time difference and how busy our lives get. If I don’t call them at least once a week, I make sure to text people to check in and stay connected with life back home. When I’m feeling a little homesick, these calls always make me feel better. I also have a diary that I write in. I started it my sophomore year of high school and try to add to it at least twice a month, if not more than that. If I’m not writing, then I’m either reading somewhere outside or drawing. I also have an amazing balcony in my room, so sometimes even just opening up the doors to the balcony and moving my chair in front is a nice way to change things up while I’m working. It’s definitely taken some time to find things to stay healthy and active and just like at Wofford, it can be hard to balance with everything else going on in my life. At the end of the day though, at the bare minimum, just getting some fresh air makes so much of a difference, even if it means just leaving a couple minutes earlier to get to class so that I can take a longer way to the IES building or staying after class for a couple minutes to sit out on the IES terrace. 

View Of The Alhambra From One Of Granada’s Most Famous Neighborhoods