There is a saying I heard about quite a lot while living in the south of Spain, in Sevilla (forgive me if I write and say it the Spanish way, it’s been embedded into my brain and my being). The quote reads something along the lines of, “They told me Sevilla was the best place anyone could ever live, and I’m afraid they are right.”
While that may put a bit too much pressure on first time visitors to love Sevilla like a second home, it is, objectively, a stunning city.
So, did I leave this place feeling that unrelenting desire to return immediately? Oddly enough, I didn’t.
Have I found the only place I can ever feel complacent? Well, I certainly hope not.
Allow me to explain. I loved my time in Sevilla. I felt blessed to have studied there, and even more so because I was able to stay both semesters, almost ten months. And there are parts of Sevilla I miss daily. Life is slower. The first day I arrived I felt the lack of stress, saw the way they sat and drank their coffee, like it was a joy, not a drug.
And Sevilla has such intense culture, such aesthetic and internal beauty. It’s why the locals spend so much time out – hopping from place to place for tapas and drinks, and doing so for hours. They appreciate in person exchanges and genuine interaction, something of which I am a fervent supporter.
However, there were difficulties during my time as well. I grew sick of the incessant “machismo” culture and catcalling. I also missed the seasons and mountains and forests only a step away, as I grew up in Vermont.
But I would never change that I went.
I made wonderful friends, came to know the winding back streets and hole in the wall cafes and never grew tired of the daily surprises and new cultural experiences that exemplify Sevilla.
And so I learned that a place can be a home for a particular span of time, but can send you on your way to discover new homes elsewhere throughout the world. And while many find Sevilla to be it, their home of all places, I choose to keep exploring. And I’ll enjoy each place as a new home, until I feel no need to find another.
By Katie Westphalen, class of ’17