If all goes according to plan, I will get to be home for about two weeks for Christmas. Now, there are still a lot of things up in the air, so I don’t want to get my hopes too high. But as the days dwindle down, I’ve started thinking about all the things I am excited for about returning to the States and the things I will miss about Madrid while I’m home.
So, here's what I’m excited about for my return to the States:
1. Drying my pants in a dryer. Fun fact: most pisos in Madrid don’t have a dryer. It’s really not as bad as you would imagine, but, I’m certainly looking forward to drying my pants in a dryer because they fit differently when properly dried.
2. Driving my car. Y’all know that I have a soft spot for public transportation but, I'm excited to get behind the wheel again, blast my music, and sing at the top of my lungs as I go through the Starbucks drive-thru in my hometown.
3. Clean air. So many people in Madrid are smokers. It’s hard not to constantly walk through secondhand smoke whenever you are outside. I’m definitely looking forward to walking through ‘clean air’.
4. My nieces and nephews. Let’s be honest. I’m excited to (hopefully) see my family, but I’m truly more excited to see all my little nieces and nephews (sorry fam). And of course I’m bringing them the famous “Someone who really loves me…” shirts. The Spanish version, por supuesto.
While I’m looking forward to many things for my return to the States, there are other things I will miss about Madrid for the two weeks I’m gone.
1. Cheap coffee. I hardly ever drink coffee in the States, but have picked up the habit of drinking coffee here in Madrid. It tastes better and it is so cheap. Like €1.50. So, I'll probably have to quit this habit while I'm home.
2. Public transportation. I love taking public transportation. I can be anywhere in the city in 25 minutes, and I don’t have to pay outrageous California gas prices to do it. I'm not looking forward to paying for gas again. Ugh.
3. Postres. On every street you can find at least one, but usually several bakeries. I'm going to miss the abundance of cheap sweets here. Although, my mom makes delicious sweets so I guess I will survive.
4. Spanish. I will truly miss the challenge of listening to and speaking Spanish every day. My Spanish is still basic, but I can hold a conversation one on one and understand about 85% of larger conversations. And, hopefully my dad will agree to speak Spanish with me while I’m home so I can keep it up.
These first few months in Spain have challenged me in ways I've never experienced. They have taught me so much about myself, my faith, my view of the world and different cultures, and especially how to communicate with people. A year ago, I never imagined I would be in Spain. But I am so thankful God’s path led me here and I look forward to all He has in store for me when I return.