Santiago de Compostela, Looking Back

Finding New Confidence in an Old City


Monday morning everyone is leaving Santiago, except me. I walked with everyone down to the lobby to say goodbye. After they left for the airport, I got some more sleep and ate some breakfast. I packed my luggage and walked to the albergue I would be staying at for the next two nights. I got to my room and realized I was alone for the first time, in a country I had never been to before. Eventually, I got over my fear, and began to explore the city on my own. Santiago is beautiful and full of culture. The next two days were full of shopping, eating, exploring, and enjoying my time.

Rooftops in Santiago de Compostela under a cloudy sky

When it was time to come home, I was nervous to navigate my way around airports on my own. I called my own cab, and the driver was nice enough to show me where to go and what to do in the first airport. After that interaction, I knew I would be able to find my way. Madrid Airport was the scariest thing of my life. I’m thankful that there were signs with multiple languages so I could figure out where I was going. My first time going through customs and being questioned about why I was in another country was definitely interesting.

Grafitti in Santiago de Compostela

Finally, I was back in the United States. I found myself missing Spain already. I didn’t necessarily want to be home yet, even though two days ago I couldn’t wait for this day. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to stay an extra two days in a really cool place. It gave me a sense of self, and helped my confidence that I could be in such a foreign place by myself, but I made it. I had fun while doing it, too. This entire trip has taught me to be a little more outgoing, and given me more confidence in myself. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I am so glad that I took it. Buen Camino!

Western facade of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela