by Erin Elaine
I have now been in Madrid for about 3 and a half months, and one of the biggest difficulties has been making friends. I have made some friends, but not very many, and they aren’t close friends.
There are many reasons for this.
My Spanish still isn’t very good, so it’s difficult to be friends with Spaniards unless they speak English. I have made a few Spanish friends, but not many. I plan to start a Spanish class after Christmas, so hopefully my Spanish will improve faster than it has been.
Another reason is that I feel insecure that people don’t like me, so I don’t want to ask them to hang out because I assume they don’t want to. But really, they probably just think I don’t like them because I never contact them. I should try to get out of my shell a little more.
This experience has been pretty different to how I’ve made friends in the past. I’ve never had to deal with a language barrier before. And making a lot of friends all at once was easier when I met one person who introduced me to their friends. But the Americans I know here are in the same boat of not knowing anyone. So that’s different.
Also, I miss my friends back home. Living in Mukilteo over the summer it felt like my friends were all scattered between Bellingham, Seattle, Bellevue, and Ogden. But now that I’m on another continent, I realize how nice it was to be able to visit my friends. It sounds like a few of them might be able to come visit me here in Spain, which would be awesome. I really love Madrid and I want to show it off. Pictures just don’t do it justice.
I’m happy I came here, and I like it enough that I’m fairly certain I’m going to stay another year. But, it’s not all sunshine and daisies. There are difficulties. But I think it’s worth it.