Non incautus futuri

A Washington & Lee junior and Marine Officer Candidate in Spain

Parents Visit, Homesickness Ensues

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My parents came to Spain!

This is no small feat, since Alicante is a little over 4,000 miles from my house in Raleigh, NC. My folks spent a few days in Madrid, and then took a train to Alicante. It was a really good time — we sipped coffee in el barrio, walked along the palm tree-lined explanada, went up to the medieval Santa Barbara castle, and generally just bummed around.

I have to say, the experience seemed a little surreal at some points. I think it’s natural for people to build little boxes that they place their lives in. People like order, and one of the best ways to create order is to compartmentalize. So people have personal lives and work lives. In my case, I’ve got my life in the United States and my life here in Alicante. I’ve got all my friends back home in the one box, and my friends over here in the other box. And along with people, I’ve got ideas and experiences — they go in the boxes too.

Having my parents in Spain completely shook up all those mental boxes. It was fun, but it wreaked havoc on my mind. Dinner with my host family and my actual family was particularly confusing: I had to transition from speaking/thinking in Spanish to speaking/thinking in English. My host mom would ask me something in Spanish. I would respond, and then recount the conversation in English to my real Mom. Then my dad would tell a story in Spanish, and my brain was forced right back into the other language mode. This went on for several hours.

Since coming to Spain, I’ve experienced a little bit of culture shock, but saying goodbye to my folks was really the first time that I felt a bit homesick. Still, it’s much better now — and I’m only in Spain for a few months. There’s no time to waste being homesick — hay que aprovechar mi tiempo aquí en Alicante. I’ve got to get the very most out of this incredible experience that I can.

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Written by Lee

September 28, 2011 at 09:41

Posted in Spain

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