Elizabeth Melkonyan: Miami as Text 2023

Greetings! My name is Elizabeth Melkonyan. I welcome you on my blog. I am currently a sophomore honors college student, pursuing a double major in Liberal Studies and Philosophy with a specialized pre-law track. I was born and raised in Uzbekistan, however, I am Armenian and Russian. My interests include law, art, history, and travel. Additionally, I am also a proficient pianist and violinist, life enthusiast. I invite you to join me as I explore the vibrant city of Miami through this blog and you can also follow me on IG: @monalisaa.m

Encounter as text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU on Jan 27th.

Welcome to my first España study abroad blogpost!

Today was the first official class meeting for my study abroad program in España and I couldn’t be more excited. I joined this program because Spain has always been a country that has fascinated me, with its rich history and diverse cultural influences. From the powerful reign of Isabelle of Castille to the stunning architecture of the Alhambra palace, Spain has always been on my bucket list to explore. The program is for 3 weeks, which may seem like a short time but I know it will be packed with experiences and memories. I am excited to learn about the country’s rich history, culture and art, Spanish traditions and customs, and especially, Spanish cuisine. I am looking forward to visiting famous landmarks such as the Alhambra palace, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and many more. I sincerely feel like this study abroad experience in Spain will be a journey filled with a vibrant array of emotions and impressions, and A LOT of instagram stories and posts from some insanely pretty locations, just like this one:

ArtTower, 2012. Pixabay.

Another reason why I decided to join this program was because of the interactive class syllabus and the opportunity to be taught by Professor Bailly. He holds a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world and I was excited to learn from him and explore Spain under his guidance. Traveling with people who possess a deep understanding of the country and its culture makes the experience even more enriching.

I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many parts of Europe, but I’ve never had the chance to explore Spain. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the country’s rich culture and history. From the lively streets of Madrid to the picturesque beaches of the Costa del Sol, Spain offers something for everyone. I am particularly excited to visit the historic cities of Granada, Seville and Toledo, to experience the unique blend of Christian and Islamic culture that Spain is famous for.

I am also looking forward to visiting the beautiful beaches of Ibiza, which I have heard so much about. I hope to fly there during one of my free days and have an opportunity to experience the island’s famous nightlife, culture and beaches.

In addition to the academic and cultural aspects of this program, I am also looking forward to the opportunity create unforgettable memories. I am excited to see how this experience will change me as a person, and I am open to whatever new experiences and opportunities come my way. I feel like this trip will expand my horizons and enhance my Spanish language skills, as it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and will be a valuable asset for my future career aspirations in Miami particularly. This program will give me the opportunity to interact with locals, practice my Spanish language skills, and learn about the culture in a way that would not be possible from just reading a textbook or watching a movie. This truly interactive hybrid spring/summer program is something very special and extraordinary.

I am counting the days till I embark on this journey! Stay tuned for more updates on my study abroad journey as I explore the beautiful country of España with my classmates and Professor Bailly.

Transatlantic exchange as text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU on Feb 12th.

Miami is a city that is a product of the Transatlantic Exchange. Miami’s history dates back to the 16th century, when Spanish conquistadors first arrived to that land. The Spanish brought the Catholic religion and the Spanish language, which became an important part of Miami’s cultural heritage. Over the centuries, Miami was shaped by other groups of settlers, including Native Americans, Africans brought over as slaves, and Cuban refugees fleeing political upheaval.

As an Armenian and Russian individual who lived in Uzbekistan, I am not a direct product of this exchange. However, living in Miami, I feel like 21st century made this city one of the most desired places to live, not only for Europeans and Americans , but all cultures across the globe.

In our class, we explored various texts and movies that reflect on the transatlantic exchange.

The one that I liked the most, ”The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas” is a Harvard academic essay that explores the exchange of plants/crops, animals, and ideas that happened between the Americas and Europe following Columbus’ arrival in 1492. It highlights how the Columbian Exchange had a significant/transforming impact on the world, changing the history, ecology, and cultures of both continents.

Another course context is the film “Apocalypto” directed by Mel Gibson. I must say that I did not enjoy the film at all, I could barely watch it. I believe that producers failed to deliver  accurate portrayal of the ancient Maya civilization. The filmmakers chose to focus on more violent aspects of the culture, neglecting the rich history, art, science, and spirituality that defined the Maya people. I felt terrible while watching the extraction of the real human heart, human sacrifice rituals and other brutalities depicted. 

Chronicles of Navarez Expedition seemed like a very easy and readable adventure/diary book. I love that format and I feel more confident about the plot when my own imagination works, not when I watch someone’s interpretation. The book depicts expeditions led by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his crew in the early 16th century through the Americas, including their encounters with native tribes and their eventual arrival in the region that is now modern-day Florida. The fact that I was reading about the place I live in, made it fascinating and engaging.

Narváez expedition in 1528, Apalachee Bay. CC0 1.0

The other two movies assigned were also very hard for me to watch. I am not a movie watcher in my nature, as I tend to get easily distracted and find myself doing other things simultaneously. In contrast, when I read, I feel like my brain is fully engaged and I am able to focus on the content. I find that this allows me to have a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience, as I am able to fully immerse myself in the story and actively engage with the information being presented. It is always a fight, whenever I am watching something with my family and friends, that I am not involved.  My friends and family are well aware of this, and it is a rare occasion when I choose to watch a movie. 

Despite not being a direct product of the transatlantic exchange, I find this topic to be an important and valuable area of study, as it sheds light on the complex and far-reaching consequences of cultural exchange and colonialism on a present day America. It is important to appreciate our history and development.

Historic Miami as text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU, at Brickell, Miami, Florida on March 11th.

Have you ever thought that in the midst of the modern and contemporary Brickell area in Miami, there is a hidden historical gem? And no, I’m not talking about some old museum, or monument. Read below!

Our walking tour began at the government center metro station. However, I was running late and I caught our group already walking to the next location. I find it so funny that it was so easy to find the group because it is a lot of us and I would say we are just like black sheep of white collar society in Brickell – very discerning crowd. As our group walked through the streets of Miami, Professor Bailly shared interesting stories and facts about the city’s history and cultural diversity. 

The next stop on the tour was the Lummus Park historic district, where the oldest known house in Miami is located – the William Wagner House. Built in the mid-1850s by William Wagner, a German immigrant and Mexican War veteran, and his wife Eveline Aimar, a French-Creole immigrant, the house is a representation of the perseverance and resilience of the early era of Miami.

William Wagner House, Brickell, Miami, Florida (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

The Wagner family faced discrimination due to their mixed-race background, but they persisted in forming a home that eventually became incorporated into the City of Miami. They also friended the Seminole people and acted as an arbiter between the Northern settlers and the Seminoles.

The house itself is a stunning example of the architecture of the time, with its coral rock walls and traditional shutters. It’s hard to believe that such a historic building can be found in the midst of the modern city center. I like how Professor Bailly emphasized and vividly described and narrated about the location, felt as if we were travelling back in time.

Next to the Wagner House is the Fort Dallas/William English Plantation Slave Quarters, a limestone building that served as slave quarters on William English’s plantation in the mid-1840s. The building was later used as a U.S. Army barracks during the Second and Third Seminole Wars.

Fort Dallas/William English Plantation (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

Professor Bailly shared an emotional and interesting ritual that he used to do with his kids – touching the walls of the Fort Dallas building to feel the energy of the people of that time. He recommended that the group do the same, and many found the experience to be transformational.

As we continued our walking lecture, we arrived at the center of Brickell, a bustling area with towering skyscrapers and bustling streets. As for me, because I do my internship in the area, everything felt familiar and obvious. However, there was one exception – a manatee sighting that caught everyone’s attention. Any caption ideas for my pic? 

Professor John Bailly and the manatee (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

Finally, we arrived at a beautiful church, but unfortunately, I had to leave due to a toothache to ER, missing the final stop on the tour.

I am truly inspired by the enthusiasm and captivating nature of Professor Bailly’s lectures on culture, art, and history, which add to our class experience and make it more unforgettable. During the tour, we also came across a few other historical monuments. However, these seemed to be more well-known to me, and their significance was less of a surprise. Nonetheless, Professor Bailly’s elaboration and narration added a new level of depth and understanding to these landmarks. I found out why some streets are named Flagler (and after whom they are named like that) and also why Miami county is refereed to as Miami-Dade.

Henry Morrison Flagler Statue (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

This walking lecture serves as a reminder that Miami’s past is just as intriguing as its present and that unexpected sources can hold hidden gems.

Magic Realism as Text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU on March 12th

Magic realism is a literary genre that emerged in Latin America during the mid-20th century. This style involves blending fantastical elements into real-life settings and situations, where characters accept the presence of magical occurrences as a natural part of their world.

In Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” I was captivated by the portrayal of a child born with a pigtail and the townspeople’s amusement (not shock/amaze) of a flying carpet. What I found interesting is that the characters do not challenge the logic of these surreal events. Another aspect that caught my attention was the distortion of time in the novel. Time seems to be cyclical or absent, and the present often resembles the past. The Buendia family’s destinies seem to repeat endlessly, and characters appear trapped in a never-ending cycle of history, resulting in 100 years of solitude. Made me feel as if they couldn’t escape from this surreal “hole” of incest relationships, unhappiness, and hopelessness. To some extent, reading the novel was emotionally difficult because the characters evoked a feeling of pity for them. Just like Ursula, while reading the novel, I was a witness to the degradation of all family members and the consequent destruction of the town. 

Illustration by Luisa Rivera for Gabriel García Márquez’s novel (“One Hundred Years of Solitude” /CC by 4.0)

After reading the novel, I delved deeper into the concept of magic realism and García Márquez’s personal experiences to gain a better understanding of the book’s exploration of love, family, and cultural themes. I discovered that the author’s memories of his childhood and family life in Aracataca, Colombia, at his maternal grandparents’ house, were a significant influence on the setting and themes of Macondo town. Díez-Buzo in his TED talk “Why should you read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” ” by Francisco conducts a very deep analysis and draws interconnections between the book and history back then, what laid the foundation and inspired the author. He says that “the author was able to depict the strange reality of living in a post-colonial society, forced to relive the tragedies of the past”. This enabled me to understand the author’s narration more deeply and make connections between his life and the book – political intrigues, the banana massacre in 1928, and autocratic regimes – a history that the author experienced firsthand is mirrored in the book. 

In my opinion, it is crucial to research extensively before reading this novel to fully appreciate its mystical and fantastical elements. This will allow the reader to comprehend the significance of the magic realism genre and the specific elements used by the author. As someone who is not accustomed to reading Latin American literature, I found the experience enlightening, and it made me miss Russian books and authors that employ similar literary devices such as Nikolai Gogol, and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin.

To conclude reasonably, this particular genre has allowed me to visualize Spanish culture, the author’s experiences that contributed to the book, and history in a new way.


“Why Should You Read ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’? – Francisco Díez-Buzo.” YouTube, 30 Aug. 2018, https://youtu.be/B2zhLYz4pYo. 

“Magic Realism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/art/magic-realism. 

Vizcaya as text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU, at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on March 19th.

Dear readers,

I invite you to explore Vizcaya museum and gardens in Miami through my eyes. I must first say that this is the most favorite historical location of mine in Miami. I visited it a few times but it was truly amazing experience to come back and explore it again.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

Our tour started with a history of the statues located in the front entrance, including the famous Ponce de Leon statue and the Bel Vizcaya (fictional character) statue. From there, we walked down to the main house, which bears a striking resemblance to Lake Como villa D’Este in Italy – that’s exactly what I thought visiting Vizcaya this time, after my summer trip to Como. To my surprise, Professor Bailly shared the same opinion in his lecture notes. It was fascinating to learn how James Deering brought a piece of Europe to tropical Miami.

Me in Villa D’Este (Photo by Viktoria Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

The main house was crowded, so we walked through the arc to the gardens, and professor asked if it reminds us of any other arc. I was the first one to instantly respond: “Arc de Triomphe in Napoleon’s victory in Paris!”. Credits go to my mom for showing me the world. 

Unfortunately, I had to leave the tour early to attend an interview at a law firm in Coral Gables (luckily not that far). I was hired on the spot and was able to plan another visit to Vizcaya. And to my surprise, I was invited to a private event at the estate the very next day! Luck or coincidence? I would just say that everything that happens, happens for a reason.

My boyfriend and I went there on Friday after my work at a law firm. It was a better weather, less crowded, since there was a private event, it was windy and the breeze was amazing – literally, the weather was perfect.. I was a tour guide for him. The event was exquisitely set up, with dazzling decorations and an atmosphere that was simply enchanting. As we walked around, taking in the sights and sounds of the celebration, I couldn’t help but imagine having our own wedding in such a beautiful place (shoutout to my bf, LOL)

Wedding party in Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

One of the most intriguing aspects of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was the history of its owner, James Deering. Despite never having children, there are rumors that he may have been gay. What fascinated me even more was the sheer number of ancient sculptures of Greek and Roman gods scattered throughout the property. It was as if Deering, though alone in his massive villa, was never truly lonely with the silent company of his Greek and Roman “friends”. Perhaps even some of the local fauna joined him in his solitude.

Sculptures at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

We finished enjoying the views in the summer house and I told my boyfriend about the history of the property, despite the fact that he is from Miami and Cuban! That’s what it’s like to take a class with Professor Bailly; I get to learn more than locals do, haha!

Now you know where to go when you can’t afford to go to Europe or simply miss it *sorry for my dose of bad humour

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Deering as Text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU, at Deering Estate, on April 16th.

On January 27th, we had our first walking lecture with Professor Bailly and the Espana travel group in Miami. We visited Deering Estate, a historic villa transformed into a museum that belonged to Charles Deering, an art collector, and philanthropist from Chicago.

I would say that the Deering Estate is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates art, Miami’s history, and the beauty of mother nature. The estate is giant: it spreads across 450 acres of land and encompasses a diverse range of buildings, hiking trails, and burial fossil sights. 

As soon as you step foot on the estate, the refreshing ocean breeze will softly reach your face. You’ll walk intricate paths and vibrant houses before reaching a stunning bay with scenic viewing spots.

Deering Estate, Miami, Florida (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

Continuing your walk, you will see the main building – the Stone House. It was built in 1922 and served as Charles Deering’s winter home. The Stone House was designed by Phineas Paist, an architect known for his Mediterranean-style buildings. The house features a unique combination of Spanish, Italian, and French architecture and is a stunning example of the Mediterranean style. I fell in love with the red and yellow painted walls and facade of the house, small details of architecture professor told us about (seahorse, shape of the windows)

Next to Stone house is the Richmond Hotel. The hotel was built in the 1930s and served as a winter retreat for Charles Deering and his family. The Richmond Hotel now displays some of Charles Deering’s collections, including his art and rare books.

Apart from the Stone House and the Richmond Hotel, the Deering Estate has several other attractions. The estate has a mangrove forest, which is a unique ecosystem found in coastal areas. It was my first time seeing these magnificent trees that grow from water. Coming from a country with a subtropical dry climate, I have never seen anything like that.

The estate also has hiking areas for authorized personnel only, where visitors can explore the natural beauty of the land. We were lucky enough to get access to this area and witness artifacts from Pleistocene Era. I held a shell that served as a tool for living for people thousands and thousands of years ago. Isn’t that magical?

Deering Estate, Miami Florida (Photos by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

The prohibition-era wine cellar in the basement of the Stone House, however, was the highlight of the Deering Estate for me. The wine cellar was created in 1922, when producing, distributing, or selling alcohol was illegal in the United States. The wine cellar was covered under fake shelves and a Canton, Ohio-made Diebold bank vault. With almost 5,000 bottles, the cellar was one of the largest Prohibition-era wine and liquor vaults in the southern United States.The vault doors slammed shut during the 1945 hurricane, and the cellar remained closed until they were reopened in 1985. The Deering Estate was purchased at this time by the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County, who brought in famous safe-cracker Rocky McGiboney to help with the opening. Over 5,000 bottles were in the collection, and Charles Deering’s original open-style wine cabinets were present but badly damaged. (1)

In conclusion, The Deering Estate is a treasure of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural heritage, I definitely will go there again and I strongly encourage you to do so too!

Resources: (1) “About the Deering Estate.” Deering Estate, 5 Apr. 2023, https://deeringestate.org/history/. 

Miami España Ida as Text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU on April 16th.

For the Ida project, my first choice obviously was a topic of law. I was lucky enough to be the first one who selected it in our Ida project group chat. In the following paragraphs I will explore how Spanish law influenced modern countries of Americas, define major concepts, conduct comparative analysis and explore ambiguities. 

Johan Moritz Rugendas (1802-1858) – Descobrimento da América, Museu Histórico Nacional/CC0 1.0

To start with, Spain’s influence on the legal system of the Americas is a complex, giant and three dimensional topic, given geographic and cultural differences across the continent. However, one aspect of the law in the Americas that has been heavily influenced by Spain is the concept of civil law. I plan to focus on civil law for this project.

Civil law is a legal system that is based on a written code of laws, rather than past judicial decisions. This system has its roots in the legal tradition established by the Roman Empire, and it is the predominant legal system in most countries in the Americas. (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017).

The origins of civil law can be traced back to ancient Rome, where the legal system was based on a written code known as the Twelve Tables. This code defined the rights and obligations of citizens, and it served as the basis for the legal system throughout the Roman Empire. Over time, the legal system in Europe evolved, and civil law became the dominant legal system in many countries, including Spain. (Investopedia, 2020)

Twelve Tables Engraving, Unknown/CC0 1.0

Spain played a significant role in spreading civil law to the Americas. In the 16th century, Spain began colonizing the region, and it imposed its legal system on the colonies (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017).. This meant that written legal codes were introduced to the Americas, which helped to establish a more formal legal system than existed previously. The Spanish legal system in the Americas evolved over time to incorporate local customs and traditions, resulting in some regional differences and unique characteristics.

Spanish Constitution of 1978 by Infinauta /CC0 1.0.
The text translates to “Spanish Constitution – Lord Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, to all whom these presents shall be seen or understood, BE IT KNOWN: That the Cortes have approved and the People of Spain have ratified the following Constitution”

Today, civil law in the Americas is characterized by a focus on individual rights, a separation of powers between the branches (judiciary, executive, and legislative branches of government), and the use of written codes to define legal rights and obligations. The codes cover a wide range of legal issues, including civil law such as contracts, real estate, and torts, criminal law, and administrative law. (Investopedia, 2020)

One of the key advantages of civil law is that it provides a clear and predictable legal framework for resolving disputes. This is because the law is codified and available for anyone to consult, rather than relying on court decisions to establish legal principles. Civil law also protects individual rights, which is seen as a fundamental aspect of a just and fair legal democratic system. (Investopedia, 2020)

Despite these advantages, there are also some limitations and ambiguities within civil law systems in the Americas. One potential issue is the application and interpretation of the law, which can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the judge (continuous tensions between state and federal power). This can lead to differences in legal outcomes, even when the same law is being applied to similar cases. Additionally, some civil law codes may be outdated or not adapted to modern legal challenges, which can create difficulties in interpreting and applying the law. (gun control)

To illustrate the use of civil law in the Americas, let’s consider the example of the United States, we find our law roots in English common law but there are still many aspects of civil law that have influenced the American legal system, although they are not well known and popular. It took me a while to research examples. One example is Louisiana, which has a legal system that is heavily based on civil law due to its history as a French and Spanish colony. Louisiana was originally a French colony, and later became a Spanish colony, before being purchased by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Because of its history as a French and Spanish colony, Louisiana developed a legal system that was heavily based on civil law. This system has continued to influence Louisiana law even after it became a part of the United States. Being specific, Louisiana’s civil law tradition legal system places a greater emphasis on written codes and statutes than on judicial decisions or precedent unlike other states. (Louisiana state gov)

Another Spanish law that has had a significant impact on American law is the Law of the Indies. This law was promulgated by King Philip II of Spain in 1573 and was designed to regulate the Spanish colonies in the Americas. (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). The Law of the Indies was a comprehensive legal code that covered a wide range of issues, including land use, urban planning, and governance. Many of the principles and regulations contained in this code were later incorporated into the legal systems of the Spanish colonies, including Mexico and Peru.

José Luis Filpo Cabana CC BY-SA 4.0 (Patio del colegio de San Gregorio en Valladolid. Impresionante ejemplar del arte gótico hispano-flamenco atribuído a Juan Guas)

One of the key provisions of the Law of the Indies was the establishment of a system of land grants, which allowed colonists to claim and develop land in the colonies. This system was based on the Spanish concept of “encomienda,” which granted certain rights and privileges to settlers in exchange for their labor and loyalty (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017).. This system of land grants was later adopted by the United States, particularly in the western territories, where the government used land grants to encourage settlement and development. (Wikipedia, 2023)

Another aspect of the Law of the Indies that influenced American law was its emphasis on urban planning and governance. The law required the establishment of a central plaza, or “plaza mayor,” in all Spanish colonial towns, which served as a center for civic life and public events (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2020).This concept was later incorporated into American law, particularly in the western territories, where many towns were founded according to a grid plan that included a central plaza. We still have them! Isn’t that interesting? Even the idea behind all the plaza we have with dollar tree, Public, and etc. comes form Spain!

Overall, the Law of the Indies is just one example of the many ways in which Spanish legal traditions have influenced the development of American law. From the use of civil law in Louisiana to the adoption of land grant systems and urban planning concepts, the Spanish legal legacy can be seen throughout the United States.

In conclusion, civil law is an important part of the legal tradition in the Americas, and its origins can be traced back to the influence of Spain and the Roman Empire. While there are certainly differences and ambiguities within this legal system, its formal and codified approach has helped to establish a clear legal framework for resolving disputes and protecting individual rights.

Works Cited:

  • “Civil Law.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 Aug. 2019, 
  • “Law of the Indies.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 Feb. 2017
  • Lopez-Monis, Andrei. “The Influence of Roman Law on Western Legal Systems.” The Culture Trip, The Culture Trip Ltd., 18 Oct. 2016
  • Martin, Sean M. “Civil Law vs. Common Law.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 25 Aug. 2020, 
  • Smith, Simon. “The Legacy of Spanish Law in America.” 23 June 2015
  • “Encomienda.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2023.
  • Laws of the Indies. Wikipedia. April 16, 2023
  • State of Louisiana. About/History/People Louisiana

Departure as text

By Elizabeth Melkonyan of FIU, Miami Florida, on April 20th.

As I sit down to write this last blog post, first of all, I want to express my gratitude for Professor Bailly for assigning us a project that has not only been an amazing project but also fun activity – blogging! It has been an amazing journey to document my emotions, impressions, and observations throughout this semester. In addition to reading the first encounter as text, I also read all the other texts. I am now very curios how I will feel when I revisit this blog in one, three, or even more years from now. Furthermore, I am excited about  creating a blog during my actual travel experience. This class has been a great preparation for my trip, as I have become more familiar with the history and culture of Spain. Through reading Spanish literature and Professor Bailly’s vivid timeline of the history of Spain, I have gained an understanding of the Spanish culture. I have come to appreciate the rich history and traditions of this beautiful country. Thanks to our excursions, Spanish authors, and class discussions.

The only thing that has changed since the encounter is that I am feeling a bit nervous about my upcoming trip. I am embarking on a new kind of trip – study aborad. However, I believe that this will be a great opportunity for personal growth, and I am looking forward to the adventure in Spain.

In addition to feeling a bit nervous, I am also feeling a bit anxious about not knowing the language. As someone who loves to communicate, I worry that not being able to speak the language will hinder my ability to connect with the locals. However, I am determined to learn as much as I can during my trip, and I am sure that the locals will be more than happy to help me improve my Spanish.

As I prepare for my trip, I am feeling both excited and nervous. I am excited to explore the city, learn more about the culture, and meet new people. At the same time, I am nervous about the unknown, such as navigating a new city, meeting new people, and also waking up 7 am for a hike!

I am still probably most looking forward to excursions, exploration of famous and hidden gems of Espana, and new impressions. Living in Miami is an ordinary thing now, I am not crazy about the beach anymore, or places in town. I want to see something entirely new and unknown. I know most countries in Europe very well, since I used to live in Niece and go to french kindergarten, having an uncle in Germany and aunt in England… But as I have already mentioned in the first encounter, I have never been to Espana. That is probably the most apparent reason I chose this program. 

Dear reader, I hope to continue sharing my experiences with you through this blog. I will truly miss Miami in summer, my second home, where my heart belongs.

The beach, Miami, Florida (Photo by Elizabeth Melkonyan/CC BY 4.0)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: