(Selfie by Sofia Meyer/ CC by 4.0)
My name is Sofia Natalia Meyer and I am very excited to be studying abroad in España! I am currently a second year Honors Student pursuing a degree in both Psychology and Natural Applied Sciences on the Pre-Med track. Despite my pale exterior, my family is actually from Puerto Rico and further back from España and Las Islas Canarias. I love crystals, reading, and spending time with people I love. I cannot wait to learn more about a country that has influenced my life in so many ways.
“Las Conexiones” by Sofia Meyer of FIU on Jan. 27, 2023
(Mi Familia, Collage by Sofia Meyer/ CC by 4.0)
From a very young age, I have been drawn to España and all it has to offer. This varies from the culture, food, people, and environment. My family is from Puerto Rico and have ancestors that come from España and Las Islas Canarias. My grandparents, particularly my paternal grandmother, have always been a driving force in my life and going to España feels like another way I can connect with them now that they have passed. My grandmother Silda Meyer, who I will refer to as Mama for the rest of this entry, always spoke about the country with such a love and reverence that only makes me want to visit it more. I hope when I am there, I can honor my grandmother by buying a keepsake I can have with me for the rest of my life.
This is not the only reason why I want to travel to España. I also adore food, and as a Hispanic person this is a major part of my culture. My parents and I love trying new places and ordering tapas style. It is exciting to go somewhere where the food scene is nothing short of incredible. I also love to cook. Mama and my other grandmother, Isabel, were some of the best cooks I will ever meet. Their food brought me comfort and they taught so many important and valuable lessons while cooking. Food is a central part of my family and I look forward to learning more about Spanish food while in España.
There is a mixture of fear and motivation when it comes to visiting a new country on an entirely different continent. I have been fortunate enough to have visited numerous countries in Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. However, I have never been to España which is yet another reason for selecting this program. It is a bit nerve racking because I have never traveled this far without my parents before, so it is definitely something outside of my comfort zone. But I am a firm believer that comfort zones were designed to keep changing throughout someone’s life.
I don’t know much about España other than some general history. I am excited to learn more about this country that contains so many roots in my life, like my family and my birthplace Miami. Like I mentioned above, I also have never had the opportunity to visit España, so I am really looking forward to discovering a completely new country. España brings an image of the old meeting with the new. Its long history has long influenced many societies and cultures in the world, but it also has moved forward into the modern century. It seems like it was able to keep its historical beauty while integrating modern influences.
My expectations of this program are primarily to learn and enjoy myself. I expect to gain knowledge and a new perspective on a country I know very little about. The priority of this course is to learn, but I am also looking forward to enjoying myself. I have already started making connections with my fellow travelers and I can’t wait to travel with them. I am most looking forward to visiting Barcelona. From what I have seen and read about the city, I feel like I would really enjoy all it has to offer when it comes to food and culture. I am excited to see the Park Guell and the Earth Fair. It seems like a city that incorporates the old with the new, which is one of the main components of the course. It is as if Barcelona culminates the course as both an Ida and Vuelta.