Not a goodbye

One second you’re stepping on a plane with shaking knees and teary eyes at the end of summer, and the next you’re already saying goodbye to your new home and family with those same teary eyes. I guess it’s true what they say: time flies, you’ll be back before you know it, and you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. My dear Madrid, although I am (not so secretly) terribly happy to return to my loving family, friends and boyfriend, I will miss you dearly. You’ve been my home for the past 5 months, and that leaves a mark.  Continue reading

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Once upon a time…

… There used to be an ambitious princess with an even more ambitious plan to write weekly blog posts while going on her Erasmus adventure. She made a good start, but it didn’t take long before she got distracted by all the mythical creatures and quests from Madrid: the glittery goat at the Royal Palace, the fat spiderman on Plaza Mayor, the heap of dwarfs and elfs and other entertainers on Sol, the roaring musicians and dragons in the metro of Madrid…  Continue reading

Questiontime (Q&A)

Usually I’m amazing *coughcough* at keeping up with my friends and family, whether they live just around the block or far away (like another country far away). It’s something I’m very used to after moving so often: some of my closest friends actually live the furthest away from me. Needless to say, I thought keeping in touch while in Madrid would be a breeze (nothing new!). However, it turns out that the Erasmuslife is, how do I say this, just a teeny tiny bit more hectic than my life in Belgium… Continue reading

STUDYing or ’StuDYING’?

For about a month and a half already I have been enjoying the Spanish educational system here in Madrid at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM or Complu for the friends). It’s quite different from what I’m used to: more teaching hours per class with mandatory attendance, expected input and cooperation, grades based on weekly tasks and tests… And yet (not so unexpectedly,) I actually like it.  Continue reading

Unexpected lessons

As you already know by now, I am here in Madrid through the wonderful project that is called Erasmus+: it’s one of the greatest experiences in life. And as I already explained in the previous post, I almost didn’t come here because I was (needlessly, it turns out) scared of homesickness. But aside from learning how to deal with that, I also found out there certain things you can only come to understand by throwing yourself into the unknown for a longer stretch of time. Continue reading

Añoranza

Homesickness. [mass noun] A feeling of longing for one’s home during a (longer) period of absence from it, making travelling difficult and leaving home almost impossible. There are as many kinds as there are people, but it’s a feeling everyone has experienced or will experience. It’s universal: añoranza, heimwee, nostalgia, le mal du pays, Heimweh. Every language has a name for it, independent of time and place. And it’s also an emotion I am particularly familiar with.
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Finally at ease

Long time no read! My excuses for the radio silence. There was so much to do, so many people to meet, so many places to visit, so many things to take care of… This post was actually written over the course of the last few days in a few short, stolen moments. But I have to say, Madrid is treating me well! The people I meet are all incredibly nice, the places beautiful and the Spanish attitude of taking it easy is growing on me. It just took me a few weeks to get used to it all (the first week and a half, only the price of planetickets stopped me from going home) : call it a miniature culture shock. Continue reading