February 19, 2021
Story submitted by traveller Alessia
At the time, I was studying a Master’s degree in Pisa (Italy) and what drove me to apply for the scholarship was a deep love of the Spanish language. That was going to be my first time in Seville, though. I had never been there, but I had heard it was a wonderful city. So I jumped right in!
It was also going to be my first time away from my parents. I knew I would be missing them but I was equally convinced that I had to take that chance at all costs. The same applied to my boyfriend at that time.
Thus, I packed everything I thought I would need and shedding a few tears, I got on that plane to Seville.
I arrived there on a sultry afternoon and went to meet my Venezuelan roommate right away, who was nicer than I expected and became someone really important to me during my time in the city. Later on, a lovely Italian girl joined us.
Classes didn’t start for a couple of weeks, so I decided to spend that time getting to know my roommates better and getting acquainted with the beauty of Seville.
At first, I would not leave the house without a map. But as the days went by, my map stayed longer in my pocket and spent less time in my hands. At the end of the first month, I already knew my way around the city centre so I started leaving the map at home and wandering through Seville without feeling lost. It was such an amazing feeling! I loved going on long walks along the river Guadalquivir and sitting on a bench in front of the Mudéjar Pavilion in the María Luisa Park and just getting lost in my thoughts.
In the meantime, classes began. At first, adjusting toto a new way of teaching wasn’t easy, but I got lucky once again. I met a few amicable people who helped me a lot, and then him. The professor of everyone’s dreams. A person that soon became not only a mentor to me but also a great friend, whose stories and adventures I will never get enough of and who I miss to this day.
I soon realized that the more I got to know new people and enjoyed that previously unknown freedom that Seville was gifting me, the more I distanced myself from my boyfriend.
We had already had some hard times and when I chose to apply for the scholarship and leave Italy, he had nothing to say, nor would I have let him. I had made my decision and if we were strong as a couple, we would have made it through all that together. But we didn’t.
At the end of October, he came to visit me, but I already knew in my heart that it was over. I could no longer stand his ordinariness. I wanted to keep feeling alive and free as I was at that moment, free of fears and insecurities. I knew I could do that by myself and I didn’t want to settle for a lukewarm life.
I wanted to live life to the fullest! Travelling, learning new languages, meeting new people and taking any chance life would throw at me. The seed of wanderlust was sprouting inside me! And not only was he not the right person to do that with, but he was also holding me back from all that, from the life I wanted to live from then on. It wasn’t easy but ultimately I decided I had to end it. He took it badly and never spoke to me again.
After making that difficult decision, I decided to fully experience what the city and my friends had to offer until the end of my time in Seville. I spent entire days outside doing nothing but laughing out loud and being happy and others where I studied hard to pass all my exams. I explored parts of the city that usually don’t even appear on travel guides. I had such a good time that at some point I started thinking about extending my stay, but I missed my chance. I knew I had to come back.
I was so sad that the day after my arrival back home I booked a ticket to come back to Seville for a few days a couple of months later. I thought that otherwise the famous “Erasmus nostalgia” would've consumed me.
Very unexpectedly, though, just after a few days, I met a guy born in Southern Spain that was living near Pisa at that time.
He made me feel alive to the extent that I almost forgot about going back to Seville. I fell in love with him as never before and together we started a new life. A life that is rich in travels, boldness, excitement and strong emotions. Exactly what I was dreaming of!
I’ll be eternally grateful to Seville for helping me get a better understanding of myself and what I wanted from life. It gave me the confidence I needed to put a full stop to my old life full of uncertainties and begin a new adventurous one.
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