Last week was the beginning of our fall break. It’s crazy to believe we are already in October and only two months away from being back in the United States. 

Like with any free time we have had, the four of us took this opportunity to travel. But this time, we all went our separate ways.  

Dane and Kara started their break in Munich for Oktoberfest; Dane then went to meet up with a friend in Copenhagen while Kara went to Rome and Naples. Delaine spent her fall break with some family friends in Paris and I spent my break in Madrid and London. 

plane wing over clouds during sunrise
Budget airlines, like Wizz Air, are our friends

The plane ride to Madrid was more nerve-racking than any other plane ride; it was my first time traveling to a foreign country all by myself. 

There’s something comforting about having a person you know by your side when you travel and I was sad to leave my Linfield friends behind to start my own travels in Madrid and London. 

When I got to Madrid, I ended up buying a MetroCard for way longer than needed.  It wasn’t until later that I realized I could’ve paid per trip (the cheaper option) instead of by day. But I was so nervous that this thought never crossed my mind. 

Madrid itself was a familiar place, mainly because of the language and friendliness. Spanish was my first language, so getting around was no issue, though there were multiple times where the difference between Spain Spanish and Mexican Spanish got in the way.

three buildings of various colors
Buildings of Madrid
side of a building with the sunlight hitting it
The sunset in Madrid was amazing

The streets of Madrid were filled with color and life, and each plaza had its own appeal.

In London, I had to go through passport control since they are not under the Schengen Agreement of the European Union.  However,  it was quite easy because I went through an automatic passport machine that scanned my passport, making sure it matched my face. That was my first time seeing one of those machines work in real life. 

Similar to in Madrid, the difference between British English and American English was prevalent in conversation, but it never became a real issue.  

What surprised me the most about London was its diversity in people and languages. It was amazing to see so many nationalities and ethnicities living together in one city.

St. Paul's Cathedral on a cloudy day
St. Paul’s Cathedral
river with boat driving through it on a cloudy day
Gloomy London

One of the things I was most excited to try was fish and chips.  It’s one of my favorite dishes and I was not disappointed in London.  

a plate of fish and fries on a table
Fish and Chips!

Even though I enjoyed my fall break, towards the end I felt myself missing Vienna more and more, and this feeling was mutual among other Linfield students too. 

So with two months left in our study abroad program, I will try my best to preserve my memories here in Vienna. 

Bis bald, 

Rosario Rucoba