The summer after my junior year of high school, my older sister and I were invited on the adventure of a lifetime. When my mother was in high school, her family had hosted an exchange student from Spain named Dunia. Flash forward twenty years, and Dunia is all grown up with three daughters under the age of nine. Because she had such a positive experience in the States, Dunia felt compelled to invite my sister and I to stay with her family in Spain. The arrangement was as follows: Sister and I would be provided with free room, board, and food, and would accompany the family on any trips in exchange for taking care of the children Monday through Friday while the parents were at work. During that time, we were to work with the girls on English. I think we all gained much more than we had thought we would–the girls were sweethearts who became like sisters to me and Sister. We traveled with the family on vacations to the beach and the city, met extended parts of their family, and made friends around our own age. Sister and I lived in their house for a month, and we truly became a part of their family.

Of course, now that we have a taste for the Spanish lifestyle (something which I’d love to write more about in the future), we have to return. So, this summer, Sister and I will be traveling to Spain to spend the month of July with the same lovely young family. However, this summer, we will be stopping in seven other countries over the course of two weeks before settling in Montilla, Spain.

This is a big leap for us; we will be packing a backpack, taking trains, and staying in hostels and hotels throughout our journey to England, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Iceland. Sister is almost nineteen, and I myself am barely seventeen. We planned out a whole itinerary and bought tickets for every thing we could with Mama weeks in advance, but there is still a level of uncertainty that exists. We depart June 13th, and I hope you’ll stick along to hear about our adventures!

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