The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with Just One Step (Megan Domnick)

With studying abroad in a different and foreign country, also comes adapting to a new culture and a new environment.  For some this may come easier than for others, but, either way, it is part of studying abroad, especially in a country where English is not the primary language.  In my first few weeks in Toledo, Spain I have learned to do just this, adapt to their culture and their way of living.  Before traveling abroad, I knew that the daily schedule of a Spaniard was much different than that of an American, but I did not think it would be this difficult for me to adjust to a new schedule.

The typical day of a Spaniard begins around 9 o’clock in the morning.  They wake up, get ready for the day and eat breakfast.  Breakfast is a very small meal consists of only a piece of toast with jam or a croissant and usually their version of chocolate milk.

Many people here work from 9 o’clock until 3 in which they come home from work and eat a very big meal for lunch.  This is probably the one thing that I have had to adapt to the most.  I am very used to eating a much bigger breakfast and then eating lunch much earlier than 3 o’clock.  Lunch is usually a three-course meal, including some type of soup, a main dish, and then fruit or something sweet, like chocolate, for dessert.  After lunch comes the siesta (nap)!  The siesta time is one of my most favorite differences from the United States to here!

After the siesta period, around 5 o’clock, people return to work and are there until usually 9, or sometimes later, at night.  At this point, it is finally time for dinner.  Dinner is much smaller than in the states, and is about half as big as lunch.  However, it still includes fruit afterward.  Spaniards love their fresh fruit!

I am slowly adjusting to this new way of life!  I cannot wait to see what the next few months bring on this crazy journey of a lifetime!

Megan Domnick is studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, at the Fundación de Ortega y Gasset with the University of Minnesota.

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