5 Things I Learned in Spain

5 Things I Learned in Spain

Traveling abroad was the best decision I've ever made.
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During my junior year of high school, I was blessed with the opportunity to take a trip to Spain and Morocco. I almost missed the opportunity thanks to my crippling separation anxiety and my fear of the unknown. Reluctantly, my mom got me to the airport and all the way to the security line. Once I was there, I broke down in tears saying that I refused to get on the plane. After some encouragement from my Spanish teachers, mom, best friend, and best friend's mom, I shakily got in line with an empty feeling in my chest. I was about to fly to a different continent with a bunch of people that I barely knew. I'd only had one or two sleepovers, and they still made me homesick. The moment the plane touched down in the beautiful city of Madrid, my life was changed for the better. Here are some of the things I learned:

1. Spanish people are EXTREMELY friendly.

As soon as we got off the plane, a native speaker tried conversing with me... in Spanish. I quickly learned that listening exercises are nowhere near the real thing. Luckily, the locals are very willing to work with you by slowing their speech or trying English.

2. It's really not that hard to make new friends.

I found a great group of friends that I had never talked to before our trip. One compliment can form a bond of common interests. It can lead to your newest roommate or a best friend to do your hair, makeup, and check out foreign boys with.

3. You're not going to like everyone.


You come in contact with a lot of people, you have to do a lot of different things, and you'll find yourself in a lot of different situations. You won't always like them. You just have to push through. Nothing is forever.


4. Just because the food is the country's specialty doesn't mean it's actually good.

You know your tastes better than anyone.

5. If you never face your fears, you're never going to grow.

Literally. My fear was riding a camel on the side of a Moroccan highway. I literally grew about seven feet, and it wasn't graceful or gradual at all.


In all seriousness, this trip was easily the best decision I've ever made. I wouldn't be half the person I am today if it weren't for this opportunity. I got the chance to practice a language I'd been learning for years, make new friends, experience two new cultures, and so much more. Getting out of your comfort zone isn't easy, but you'll be so grateful that you did.


Cover Image Credit: Alexis Lohm

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11 Things Y'all Know To Be True If Y'all Are From The South

Northern folk just don't get it.

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If you live in the south, there are some things you can completely relate to. It's different down here, and that's why we love it. It is home, and we are thankful that we live here. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else. No matter where we go, our hearts will always be in the South.

1. You have good manners.  

Your parents definitely taught you to ALWAYS say, "yes ma'am," "no ma'am," "yes sir," and "no sir." You learned to always say "please" and "thank you." There's a good chance that you got in trouble if you ever forgot to say those, too. You might have even gotten spanked with a switch you picked in the backyard.

2. Your grandmother makes the best sweet tea.  

Sure, a lot of restaurants do, too, and so does your mom, but there is nothing like your grandmother's sweet tea. She uses way too much sugar, and it is perfect. No one will ever make it as good as she does.

3. Saturdays in the fall are for football.

Morgan Johnson

College football is taken VERY seriously. We love the SEC... except for Clemson fans. But, no matter what team you pull for, you can't go to Williams-Brice and not get chill bumps when "Sandstorm" is played.

4. You never know how to dress for the weather.  

In the morning, it could be 40 degrees outside, so you'll need to dress warm. In the afternoon, it could be well over 80 degrees. Also, don't plan on putting up your summer clothes when it's getting close to winter, or putting up your winter clothes when begins getting warmer outside. It can be 70 degrees in December and 30 degrees in April. Dressing in layers is a skill you master when you live in the South.

5. You complain about Yankees.  

No offense to anyone up north, but you didn't grow up the way we did. You're welcome to come down here as long as you aren't rude. We know we have great warm weather, and we know we don't handle snow very well. We don't need your input. So please, for the sake of everyone, keep your snobby comments to yourself, and learn how to make sweet tea.

6. The sunrises and sunsets are like nothing else.

Morgan Johnson

Sunrises and sunsets are beautiful down here. Whether you're at the beach, driving down the road, or at your house, you will see a picture-perfect sky. Sometimes, it's challenging to drive because it's so bright, but the view is definitely worth it.

7. Sundays call for church, lunch, and a good nap.  

One of the best things in the world is taking a long nap after church on a Sunday. I'm not exaggerating. It's the best. Especially if it starts to rain... I highly recommend.

8. We are super patriotic.

Morgan Johnson

All of the states are red. If you're not a Trump supporter, I promise you, you're outnumbered. We love guns, the military, and America. A lot. We believe in Jesus. We're proud to be American, and nothing will ever change that.

9. There's a church on every other street.  

We have a lot of Southern Baptist churches here. A LOT. There are churches everywhere. On the way to your church, you'll probably pass at least five other churches.

10. People comment on your accent, a lot.  

"Where are you from?"

"Oh, I live in South Carolina."

"I can tell."

This happens anytime you go somewhere.

11. You can't imagine living anywhere else.  

We love it here. We're proud to be from the South and wouldn't have it any other way. Bless your heart if you can't relate. You're missing out.

Living in the South is truly a blessing. Why would you ever want to live anywhere else?

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Day Four In Italy: Florence

This is the day we learned the history of everything

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Waking up bright and early we first took the tour bus to the country side of Florence where we visited a medieval town full of shops that lined a beautiful countryside.


CountrysideBrooke Burney

We spent about three hours here just looking around, buying things, and taking pictures. Once the three hours were up, we went to a winery where they explained how they made wine with the grapes in their vineyard.


In the vineyardBrooke Burney

After the tour, they fed us lunch with some of their wine. Then, after we ate, we passed through their wine shop and took the bus back to the Piazza della Signoria. On the way back, our tour guide was telling us about Michelangelo and his time creating the Statue of David. We had to stand in a line for about thirty minutes but when our time came, we were thrilled. We entered and saw artwork from many different artists. However, Michelangelo had a hallway of his own that was mostly filled with unfinished sculptures of statues with David being at the very end.


Statue of DavidBrooke Burney

After the tour of the art museum, our tour guide took us to the square where the churches were and gave us a history lesson on them. He gave us a background on the pictures that were painted on the doors and what they represent.


Brooke Burney

After this tour, we went back to our hotel where we were able to go eat dinner. My friends and I went back to the small square we first went to and ate in a small pizza joint.


Italian pizzaBrooke Burney

If you ever go to Europe, keep in mind that they have a hard time splitting orders. As we were sitting at this table, we asked for separate checks but they made us pay separately on a single check, which was kind of funny watching three American girls pick through their euros.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to pack for the next day. To the train station, then Pompeii!

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