THE BLOG
12/10/2014 07:50 am ET Updated Mar 22, 2015

Love Letters: Seville

Allie Megale is a current senior at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, where she studies Psychology and Spanish. She studied abroad in Sevilla during the spring semester in 2014. She plans to return to Spain for pleasure sometime in the near future.

Sevilla,

I still remember arriving to you after a long bus ride from Toledo. I remember looking outside the windows and staring at the streets that I would eventually learn like the back of my hand. I remember stepping off the bus and hearing my name being called out to meet my host mother. She hugged my roommate and I, gave us the infamous two kisses on the cheek and called us guapas (which translates to pretty). This was my family for the next three and half months.

Sevilla, you are a city like no other. You offer a city big enough to wander, but small enough to feel like home. Walking down Calle San Jacinto everyday brought a smile to my face. There were always friends, families, children, and shop owners on the streets, enjoying a beer or some tapas. No matter what day of the week, the tables were always filled with people. Your culture allows people to take a step away from the harsh realities of life and simply enjoy the company of their loved ones. This is something that is so rare to come by in life here in America.

I miss going out at 12 am and not arriving back home until the sun is starting to rise. I miss dancing the night away with people who did not speak English. This didn't matter because the only language we needed to understand was the steps of our feet and the beat of the music. I miss the 1 euro chupitos of cheap tequila. I miss the sense of elegance that your nightlife offered in comparison to the nightlife at American universities. The mile-and-a-half walk home at 6 am was always worth while because of the promise of churros at the Triana Bridge. I remember sitting on the steps alone one Thursday night and just staring at the reflection of the moon and the stars on the river that I walked by everyday. I didn't mind that I was alone, because I had you there and you required no explanations.

I love the people that live in your city; their faces still linger in my mind, like thhe cab driver that drove me to my four visits to the doctors. One evening, as the sun was setting, he decided to take the long way home so that we could go over the bridge that looks over the city of Sevilla. We talked about life, love, and the history of Sevilla (yes, this was all in Spanish). Or what about the man who sat in a chair outside the elementary school every morning and would sing my roommate and me a beautiful Spanish song. Or what about my friend who took me to his pueblo of Puerto Moral where I was treated like I was family only after meeting him for less than one day. Who would think that a long drive, a song, or a night in a village could have such a lasting impression on me five months later?

What I love most about you, Sevilla, is how you transformed me as a person. People always say that you will change after studying in another country, but I feel that you have a certain effect on people like no other city has. What you taught me is not something that could ever be found in a textbook or in a class lecture. What you taught me will be carried with me for years to come. Through you, I found that I am capable of being vulnerable, of falling in love without thinking of what comes next, that promises are not always kept, that goodbyes sometimes really are forever, but other times are not, that I can survive on three hours of sleep perfectly fine, that I can become part of a family with people that I have only known for three months, and that it is necessary to stop and smell the roses. Most of all, Sevilla, you taught me that the happiness in life isn't measured by the amount of money you have in your pockets, but rather is measured by the amount of happy memories you have to look back upon.

Nos vemos muy pronto,
Allie