I traveled over 5,000 miles away from USC to the beautiful city of Madrid this past fall 2016 and Helenes love followed me there. I spent a semester there and during my time, I got the opportunity to live with a wonderful host family, eat my body’s weight in pastries, visit places that I could only have dreamt of, and immerse myself in my local community. I could speak about how incredible Fall 2016 was for days.
One of my favorite things about the semester I spent abroad was showing the city that became my second home to friends from the United States. I got an opportunity to do that when Annie Song, also a Helene, came to visit Madrid. We had such a great time and we got to explore the city together. We went to one of my favorite places in Madrid, “Mercado de San Antón”, with a few of my friends who were living in Madrid with me. We enjoyed tapas and afterwards, we walked around and spent time in two barrios, Malasaña and Chueca.
The Helenes love did not end there, though. I got the opportunity to spend some more time with Helenes when Shreya Tanna and Winnie Quan came to Madrid for a weekend visit. Shreya and Winnie were both in Spain pursuing teaching and interning opportunities. We did not have a lot of time together to spend but we packed in as much as we could. Together, we explored Malasaña, ate delicious food, enjoyed a day at Parque del Retiro, and talked into the night until it was time for the last metro to come. My time in Madrid was one of the best periods in my life but it was extra special to enjoy it with some of my favorite people. 5,000 miles away from USC and still, I found myself surrounded by Helenes love.