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If I leave Portland, you’ll find me in Seville

It took me about ten minutes after getting off the train to consider quitting my job and selling all my things to move here. For the first time since my eurotrip started, I was able to relax once I arrived in Seville. Oh, what a difference one train ride through Spain made!

Seville is a gorgeous, warm city in the south of Spain, about an hour and a half drive away from the ocean. After a joyful reunion with my travel and childhood buddy Jenny, I was immediately embraced by our Airbnb host Oscar. I love being greeted by kisses on both cheeks. We lived in a picturesque flat lined up against the twisty cobblestone streets of La Macarena neighborhood, where our closet functioned as both a bathroom door and room divider.

Jenny was already in awe of Seville before I arrived, which was reassuring because she lived in Europe and traveled to a different country every weekend. We explored the street markets on the first day, stopping every few feet to admire displays of traditional ceramic tiles, vintage furniture and handsome, tan men. Omfph, there were a lot of those in Spain.

We had dinner at Espacio Eslava, a very deserving popular tapas bar frequented by locals and tourists alike. After Barcelona I was wary of soggy fried eggplant plates, but this place was amazing. We ended the night strolling through open street pubs sprawled through our quiet neighborhood, cheerfully ordering 1 Euro beers and sangrias. The servers and bartenders were welcoming and lighthearted, happy to share their evening with us. I felt like I was on a never-ending summer break.

The next day we dedicated to touring Alcázar, a moorish palace considered to be one of the most beautiful in Spain. Fun fact, scenes from the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones were filmed here. We had breakfast at a local cafe (which was an experience in itself, where we were given two huge slices of toasted hoagie break with oil and tomato paste) and weaved through the charming Barrio de Santa Cruz to get there. This is where I may have taught Jenny how to use a selfie stick and we frolicked in the mazes and around fountains til the brink of heatstroke.

After an afternoon tapas break, we stumbled across the best gelato shop in the world and headed to Plaza de España. Another fun fact-some scenes in STAR WARS, Attack of the Clones were filmed here.

If I ever disappear one day and there are sightings of me in Europe, this is where those sightings would be. Maybe I would blend in with the grad students, doing my Masters or learning Spanish again. Or maybe I’d be taking orders at a sunny cafe, counting down the hours til I could rave with my friends til daylight. I wouldn’t mind teaching again either, and jumping onto trains over the weekends to see as much as I could see. If I could have a few more years of complete freedom and carelessness again, there is where I would spent them.

Dammit, student loans.

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