Europe, Spain

Arriving in Cartagena

I’ve yet to blog about arriving in my new city! On October 18, I came to Cartegena, a city in the Region of Murcia. This is in the southeast of Spain, while Pontevedra was in the northeast. So, opposite sides of the country and certainly a different climate and culture. My friend in Galicia, Whitney, had recommended both Murcia and Cartagena, and without any other specific regions in mind, I went for it and requested it on my NALCAP application.

After saying my goodbyes to Sage, flying to NYC, and getting on a connecting flight to Madrid, I finally arrived back on Spanish soil about 12 hours later.

Next, I had to take an airport train to Atocha station, where I would get on the train to Cartagena. This first train is where I met Tony, who I visited in Valencia. He was actually on the first train talking with a Spaniard, and I heard he was an auxiliar, but I was far too tired to make conversation. After I realized we were both lost looking for the Ave train, we partnered up to figure it out.

After another 6+ hours on trains, I arrived in Cartagena! Thankfully, the AirBNB I have for my first few weeks was very closeby so I walked over. After, I went to bed and slept for the next two days. Onwards to this next adventure!

Over the course of the next few days, I noticed some differences in how things were operating in relation to COVID. When I left Spain in May, only about 4% of individuals had had the vaccine. With increased supply, it was around 80% when I arrived for this trip. This certainly made some differences in restrictions as cases lowered in the country. I immediately noticed more things were open, and masks were no longer required outside. People could be with non-cohabitants, I didn’t have to take a COVID test to arrive in the country, restaurants were open for indoor dining, and so forth.

While it’s difficult being abroad in a pandemic and it’s so easy to focus on all the opportunities being lost, I try to focus on the positive. I’m grateful for more time to be abroad, see this country, and hopefully explore a little bit more.

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