The landmark confluence of Gran Via and Calle de Alcala in the heart of Madrid
“I’m back in Madrid, the city where I found myself. The city I adore. I’m back for good”
By Maja Jakic
Photos: M. Jakic unless stated otherwise
We’ve come to the last installment of Maja’s riveting “Lost and Found in Madrid” three-part series. Judging by the number of readers who’ve accessed Maja’s story, many have enjoyed it.
Watch for her coming articles here in GUIDEPOST !
When talking about the advantages of living in Madrid, and Spain in general, it is necessary to mention the possibility of frequent travel. It is cheap, what with its perfect location which makes for easy connection with a number of destinations. Whether you decide to travel around Europe or explore Spain itself, you can find a lot of great offers. The bus and Renfe train networks are well-organized and offer affordable tickets. You can go to magnificent Sevilla or admire Granada, as well as the beaches in Málaga or Cádiz.
Thanks to the amazing ESN (Erasmus Student Network) at my university, I had the privilege of exploring Ibiza and enjoying the spring break with hundreds of other Erasmus students across Spain. Though it started as a simple trip, I ended up finding the best roommates and my future life-long friends.
Probably the most memorable of my travels were those that I did with my Erasmus friends. Together we visited Sevilla, the capital of Andalucía, one of the most beautiful regions in Spain, and in June the astonishing island of Tenerife.
Spaniards appreciate travel and do it as often as possible, as if they know instinctively that traveling broadens your horizon and enrich your life. We are the citizens of the world and travel helps us to connect with that very identity.
People are the extra fuel that makes you go on enjoying and appreciating life. They, the Spanish people in particular, want to enjoy life to the fullest and don’t let themselves be hemmed in by the amount of money they have or circumstances in which they live in. They go on family trips whenever they can, treat themsselves to dinners or attend exciting fiestas. Those who have more, as well as those who have less, will always find a way to have fun according to their respective possibilities. Admirably, “ageism” doesn’t affect the Spaniards. They celebrate the process of ageing by staying young in spirit. It was quite a pleasant experience for me to see elderly people so vital, keeping active in sports and taking care of their health and physical appearance. That mentality that revolves around enjoying every moment in life and being optimistic about it was what changed my perspective and made me into a person who is more aware of the importance of self-value.
AND I WAS FOUND…
Nowadays I still occasionally close my eyes and see all the scenes in my mind, like some Woody Allen movie. All the exciting memories, like traveling around Spain and admiring temperamental Sevilla, dancing and soaking up the sun in Ibiza or having hour-long conversations on the rooftops of lovely Tenerife. I see myself performing and singing in Chueca’s Fulanita de Tal, going to Kapital and throwing themed surprise birthday parties for my dearest Erasmus friends. And most notable of all, I can remember traveling by train from Leganés to Puerta del Sol and getting ready for a new adventure in the city that I adore.
Long walks around numerous parks, sunset at the Templo de Debod and shimmering streetlights on Gran Vía…Magic. It’s all there.
And as someone once said: “A city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams.”
That’s my city. The city where I found myself.
And guess what? I came back. I’m in Madrid again. For good, this time.
Featured image by Ruben Vique, CC BY2.0
Granada by Julia Kotescka, CC BY 2,0
La Paloma by Edwin Brevis CC BY-SA2.0