March 31, 2009
By Brady Mills BRONZE, Portland, Indiana
Brady Mills BRONZE, Portland, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Stepping off a plane onto foreign soil, taking in the surrounds of an unknown area, the lights of the city, the peacefulness of the country, these are some of the many things I experienced in Spain. However the most influential things I was surrounded with were my experiences of the trip, the citizens, and the culture.
The first impression I had was very overwhelmed, as I stepped off the plane into an airport, everything written in Spanish. The chaos and confusion of the locals only added to my disorientation at the time. Keeping my thoughts and actions together I concentrated to find out where I was going. The emotions I felt at this time (and throughout the whole trip) were of freedom. I was not truly alone on this trip, many of my friends and a teacher accompanied me but without the presence of a parent I felt free. Free to do what I want, free to find my way and rely on myself. This for me was one of the greatest emotions I have ever felt. Knowing that you’re by yourself and your actions are your consequences. Once my group and I collected our thought and found our way, we continued on to our hotel. From here we started to venture and take in the sites. Madrid (the capital of Spain) is a breathe taking historic city. It has been rebuilt and preserved, and is now one of the nicest cities in the world. To walk thru the cobble streets and experience the culture and the constituents of this country was an amazing feeling. It is truly like stepping into another world and enjoying their everyday life.
The following morning our group went to my favorite spot of the whole trip. It is a small, very old city named Toledo. This town was breathe taking in everyway imaginable, from the tiny winding cobble streets to the enormous cathedrals that had were gold plated. Overlooking the city was mountains and streams to add to the beauty of this special place. The city is truly one of the most beautiful sites I have ever experienced. This town shows the culture and heritage of the city and how long people have been dwelling in the country. They still do things they way they have been done for hundreds of thousands of years. It is known for many things but the biggest things they’re known for is their hand forged swords and their high quality, handmade jewelry. We got to experience the making of a sword, which takes blistering work and many hours to complete. The jewelry is one of the highest qualities around and we watched a journeyman weaver make a ring, which takes much concentration. These experiences in Spain were not only magnificent but breathe taking. The sites, sounds and lifestyles of Spain are like no where else in the world.
The citizens of Spain also added to my experience. They truly show what it feels like to Spanish and have pride in their country. Whether that be from their contributions to their country or how they treat each in the streets. The Spanish have very much pride in not only themselves but everyone that represents their country. They treat each other with more respect and truly caring emotions that I have ever experienced. Spanish set a great example to how people should be treated, and it would be fantastic if the United States would follow their example. The citizens of Spain also represent understanding with one another, from the streets of the city to a guest in their house. They treat them with respect and caring passion.
The culture of Spain is by far my favorite culture I have ever read about or experienced. The actions and the morals of the Spanish are world class. They rely very much on their heritage and believe in keeping this the same. This is very much so in Madrid, the city was restored to its old ways and it is in great shape. The city of Madrid has hired a cleaning service to take care of the city and the builds. The people work very hard to keep their heritage intact and the history alive. This is not only show in the buildings and the streets of this city but by the traditions they still practice today. When I was there the locals of the area were in “Times Square” and were playing historical games in the streets and playing culture music. This was a great experience and taught me a lot about the culture. I would love to go back to visit this city again, along with most of Europe. Trips to foreign countries teach you a lot about that country; they show the culture and life first hand. These experiences can be life changing and I would recommend these kinds of trips to anyone!

The author's comments:
This trip was probably the best time of my life. It was really easy for me to write about my experiences and i love to share them and possibly inspire someone to take a trip like this.

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