I will remember March 16th, 2020 for the rest of my life. There was so much fear in the air that day. The streets of Granada were empty, shops and stores boarded up, and only a few straggling people with masks could be seen as I looked out my taxi window. In January, when I arrived in Spain, everything was fresh and pure. The streets were always full of chatter, always busy with people. Now, it was almost a ghost town.
Spain was closing the borders at 8 am on March 16th due to the pandemic, and nobody could get in or out. My flight was leaving Spain at 6:40 am that same day. If you read my first blog post, you would know I don’t do well on airplanes. During a global pandemic, and with the insane time crunch, I found that this anxiety gets much worse. The world was panicking, my family was panicking, so of course I too was panicking.
As I was panicking, I felt my heart start to burn with anger and disappointment as well. I was angry that a virus stripped me of my experience abroad. How could a disease take my new home and my new family away so quickly? I was mad at the world for cancelling the semester where I was supposed to experience the most growth. I had the right to be mad, but now, as I’m sitting safely in the comfort of my home in Boise, Idaho, the anger has left. I remain sad that I had to leave a city as beautiful and historic as Granada. The anger has left, but I still reminisce every day on all the wonderful memories my two months abroad brought me. The anger has left, but I still miss my sunny balcony that looked out on Calle Elvira. I miss the sounds of flamenco dancers hitting the pavement on Plaza Nueva. I miss stretching my neck to look out the window during class to catch a quick glimpse of their incredible dresses and fast rhythmic footwork. The anger has left, but I miss sitting up on San Mirador with people who made me the most happy and looking out on the entire city as the sun set slowly behind the Alhambra. The anger has left, but I will forever feel nostalgic to the freedom, happiness, and growth I felt during my short time in Granada.
In the end, I am grateful that myself and my fellow abroad classmates all returned home safely. I am lucky to have had the chance to experience new worlds, even though my time ended too soon. Now, I and lucky to have an excuse to return to Spain one day and make up for lost time. It is not a goodbye forever, just a goodbye for now. ¡Hasta luego Granada!