This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Portugal with my roommate and a few other friends. I really wanted to go, but since I only have a few weeks left in Spain, I chose to stay close to home and absorb more of all that Granada has to offer.
Luckily for me, the first weekend of May in Granada is filled with plenty of events and activities, the biggest being Día de la Cruz. Día de la Cruz is always held on the 3rd of May, and it’s one of the biggest holidays celebrated in Andalucía. People from all over Spain and Europe travel to Granada to see the streets filled with decorated crosses and Flamenco dance groups.
I had no idea how big Día de la Cruz was until I experienced it first hand. I spent the entire day outside with my friends Ava, Alana, and Liz, and we never ran out of things to see or do. The atmosphere was buzzing, and people filled every corner of the streets. It was incredible to see so many people enjoying the sights, sounds, and food. I love to see people having fun!
The biggest thing that I took away from this past weekend was the importance in staying put sometimes. Sure, it’s great to travel all you can while abroad! The ease of travel throughout Europe is hard to pass up!
That being said, I think we sometimes put too much emphasis on getting out of the place that we’re studying, and we miss the point of studying abroad in the first place! My goal before coming to Spain was to immerse myself in the Spanish culture as much as I could before leaving. Not Portuguese culture, not French culture, not Spanish culture. I can’t learn how to order a tapa or experience the beauty of a Flamenco dance in Morocco. No, I need to be in Spain to do these things, and more specifically, Granada.
So, if you are looking to study abroad in the near future, I encourage you to plan on staying put for a while. Plan a few weekend trips to experience seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Swiss Alps for the first time, but also set aside quiet weekends to stay in the city in which you’re studying. You’ll be so glad you did.