Spain: My last days and what I know now

By Kristian Buckner | May 20, 2013
Me and our tour guide for the entire trip, Miriam.

The last few days in Spain involved Cordoba, where we stopped by to see the mosque, and then Madrid again, where we ended our stay. We shopped, ate, saw street violence, and stayed up to look out the window and gaze at the beautiful city. We experienced the whole city square, (circle) crowded with people, shoulder to shoulder, and a restaurant almost get burned down at the rage of a woman stealing food. And stayed up for another two days straight to ride many planes back home.

I don't know as much, in fact, I hardly know anything at all. But the one thing I do know is that one day, maybe a long time from now, I would like to go back and stand in awe.

I went to a country to see and learn about their culture, and while I did, I also learned a lot about the culture of my own country. It's strange really, eating American food and listening to American pop music when you're not in America. I learned that America is the pop culture capital of the world, and we were told right in our high school history class, America is the melting pot. Not just for different people, but different cultures, and food. I mean really, what exactly IS American cuisine? I had to stop myself to think about it. Why, hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries! McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, THAT is who we are. We are meaningless dancing music, bad journalism, and unhealthy food. We know our culture as a mesh of a billion other cultures, other foods and languages, different people from everywhere. But Spain, Spain is different.Spain has their famous Spanish omelet, paella, sangria, and so many tapas! They have dancing, and a deep rich history. It has it's art, which is everywhere! And home to some of the most famous that ever lived. There's a street in Madrid called "Golden Street" where designers live/lived. That's what they're known for! While the good 'ole USA is so proud of finding perfection and obsessed with the glory of commercialized products, Spain is living it's life. Dancing, having siesta, taking a break from the harshness of the world and trying to enjoy life. And for God's sake, eating! And eating a dessert with every meal too!!

I don't mean to bash America, it's my home. There are many beautiful things that America has, and many wonderful people. We have the arts and the fashion too, and we are, very importantly as I previously mentioned, the melting pot. The country that brings everyone together. That's us!

Yet, as much as I do love my country, all it's faults included, travelling to Spain fueled the fire to a spark that already existed. My desire to travel. (As long as I can avoid the D.C. airport, that place was complete chaos!) I just want to travel more. I want to go to Italy, and France, (for longer than forty-five minutes), to Germany, Great Britain, and Australia, Japan and China, to everywhere to see the culture and to discover new and fantastic art.

I don't know, perhaps I will never get a real opportunity to travel again, but maybe, maybe I will.

One of the most important things I found when I traveled to Spain is what everyone should learn, it doesn't matter the culture, it doesn't matter the religion, race, language, the food, how they dress, or what kind of art they make, people there, people here, people everywhere, we're all still people. There are good people and bad, crazy and calm. We feel and understand the same human things, we get angry, we feel sad, we fall in love. To learn that a smile is universal is to know an unanswered question in life, because even if you're miles from home, you're lost or confused, even if you're surrounded by a world that doesn't speak your language, a smile can make the difference.





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