The Feeling of Not Being a ‘tourist’: My First Month in Spain

Hello everyone!

I am Burcu, I am from Türkiye, and I have just started my one-year volunteering journey in Silla, Valencia. Although packing and saying goodbye to my friends and family were not the easiest, I am thrilled to be here. It’s been almost a month since I started this journey, and in this blog, I wanted to share my first-month experience in Spain.

Even though I had the chance to visit Spain last summer, this time feels entirely different for me. Upon arriving in Valencia, I received a warm welcome from the team, met other volunteers in Silla. Strangely, I didn’t feel entirely new to the city, the people, or the house. I was just excited and checking in with myself, realizing that I made it here.

After a brief introduction to Silla, the next day, I met with the AMICs team and enjoyed a nice lunch together. We discussed general information about my project, made some plans for the year, and mostly focused on getting to know the team.

On the fourth day of my arrival, we attended a seminar in Alicante about the gender-sensitive approach in youth work for a week, marking a quick start to my journey here. I had the opportunity to meet people from different countries and, especially, locals from Alicante. It was a swift way to kick off my year.

After the seminar, the realisation that “I am living in a completely different country” hit me, which surprisingly felt good. The feeling of not being a ‘tourist’ or ‘an Erasmus participant’ in a foreign country was something I had been seeking for a long time. I am excited to become a ‘local’ here and enjoy my time even more.

Despite it being only my first month here, it was full of memories and emotions for me. I hope the rest of my year will be like my first month—full of plans, friends, projects, events, and many more experiences.

See you next month!