Travel challenges us and helps us understand more about the world and the people in it. That’s why, every year, Greenheart Travel offers First Time Traveler scholarships so that more people have the opportunity to travel. We recently heard from Caleb who won a scholarship to Greenheart Travel’s Teen Summer Language Camp in Spain. Here’s a little bit about his trip!
My journey started on Saturday June 11th, 2023. After a week of last minute packing and mini-panic attacks it was all finally happening!
I took SFO (San Francisco airport) to Madrid Airport. The flight was almost 14 hours long, but my airline was surprisingly really awesome. I flew Iberia and they gave everyone on the plane a pillow and a blanket, and their utensils were all recyclable! It was a very comfortable flying experience and being able to see all the time differences we flew through was so cool. After watching 3 different movies and taking too many naps to count I finally landed in Madrid. I brought only carry-ons so I did not have to go through much airport hassle. This was a monumental moment for me as travel is a huge passion of mine, so the fact that I made it, and everything is going smoothly was a big deal for me.
After a 6-hour wait for the rest of the students to land and get their luggage we finally boarded the bus which took us from Madrid, Spain to Salamanca, Spain. It was an almost 3-hour drive but it was well worth the wait. The bus drive allowed all of the students to get to know each other and make first impressions. I met 3 students each from a different area: Phoebe (who I later found out was to be one of my roommates), Axle (another one of my roomies), and Lucy (a very nice French girl who was staying at an apartment). Having already made bonds with my roommates it was a very easy transition from the bus to my home for the week.
My host family was a wonderful woman named Manuella, and in no time at all we were calling each other familia. This is one of the more important aspects of my trip. As me and my host and my roommates became a real family in under 7 days (I feel like that should be a social experiment)! This level of human connection and pure love is something so beautiful to me, and I feel that it highlights my biggest reasons for wanting to travel the world and meet new people.
My days in Salamanca were very different from my days back at home (I loved this)! I had to adapt to a brand new schedule. Wake up at 7am, class from 9-12pm, “siesta” (nap time) and lunch 3-5pm, activity 5:45-7pm, free time 7pm-10pm, dinner 10:30pm, night activities 11-12:30am. I quite enjoyed this schedule and liked how late everything was. I was very worn out by the end of the day but slept amazing!
My week in Salamanca was a life I would commit to again, possibly to study or to write a book. The overall environment of the town is very collegiate, and historical. So it was a perfect place to learn an entirely new language and experience an entirely new culture.
Thank you Caleb for sharing how your week in Spain went! If you are interested in the First Time Traveler scholarship, please read more here and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get early warnings for the next application period!