Oliver in Spain: This place is starting to feel like home

I’m finishing up my third full week in Valencia, and this place is starting to feel like home. I have become very comfortable with my family, and Mark and I frequently play FIFA and other games together. He’s definitely starting to look up to me, and is practicing his English with me too! Coming back to the house after a long day out feels very relaxing too.

I feel lucky to have an awesome friend group of about 15 people on my program with me. Friendships strengthen very quickly when everyone is put into a new culture with a new language. It’s nice to know that everyone is going through the same transition and that we have come to rely on each other a lot.

Valencia vs. Espanyol

Valencia vs. Espanyol

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a Valencia football (soccer) game. I went with a few other friends and the atmosphere was like nothing in the United States. These people live and die by their football team. The stadium, La Mestalla, crams almost 60,000 screaming and jumping fans together for 90 minutes of pure enthusiasm. I have to be honest, I’m getting very attached to this team and will be picking up a jersey very soon. ¡Amunt Valencia!

Celebrating a goal! Final score: 3-1 Valencia

Celebrating a goal! Final score: 3-1 Valencia

This was also my first weekend of travel outside of Valencia. Along with 8 of my friends, I went to the island of Ibiza off the East coast of Spain to celebrate my 21st birthday! Needless to say, we had a blast. We rented an apartment through Air B&B which we used as a base and as a place for family meals.

Spaghetti with a Chorizo and tomato sauce

Spaghetti with a Chorizo and tomato sauce

Ibiza has a great nightlife, but it also has amazing beaches and cliffs. It was not at all what I was expecting going into it but we all had a great, and tiring, time.

Incredibly clear, blue water

Incredibly clear, blue water

Next weekend I’ll be crossing off another box on my bucket list by going to Oktoberfest from Thursday through Saturday. I’ll have another update next Sunday to let you all know how that goes!

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