Present-oriented Pre-departure

In just a few days I will be departing Chicago to head to Sevilla! Well… technically I’ll be headed to New York… then Madrid… then Sevilla. After pushing through each obstacle leading up to this adventure, I am still shocked that this day is finally arriving. 

I cannot wait to explore Spain, meet my host family, enroll in classes at the local university, and meet some new people. In my dream Sevilla lifestyle, I am sitting in a little coffee shop, reading a book, with no idea in the world what time it is. Truthfully, this is very unlike my day-to-day life this past semester as I filled many different roles such as student, Van Wylen employee, research assistant, psychology club event coordinator, intern at a crisis center, and more.

I often found myself slipping into auto-pilot mode and struggling to stay present, wondering by the end of the day how time flew so fast that I could barely remember what happened. However, the go-go-go, constantly checking boxes off lists lifestyle is very far from that dream life I mentioned earlier. The United States is often noted as a future-oriented culture while many say that Spain is more present-oriented, so reorientation became my winter break goal.

Here at home in Illinois, I’ve started taking intentional steps to make that dream a little more realistic. First of all, I’ve started reading and I hope to make this a priority for my upcoming semester. I’m sure it will be easy to find books in Sevilla as I saw a sweet little library right across from my homestay when I Google mapped it.  

Next, I started relaxing into the idea of being independent and spending thoughtful time alone. While yes, I am using this break at home to spend as much time as possible with my family, I am also making sure I become more and more comfortable with having some reflective time to myself to prepare for my upcoming journey.

With my departure date rapidly approaching, it’s time for me to start packing. I look forward to my next blog post where I’ll check back in from across the globe and let you all know how that mindfulness stuff is coming along. Hasta pronto!

Published by isabel.santos

Class of 2023 Psychology and Spanish Double Major CIEE Seville, Spain

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