Everyday Alicante

By Olivia B.

Feb. 1, 2016

Life in Alicante has been nothing short of amazing. I was chatting with my good friend Bri this morning and we were shocked how we have been here in Alicante for three weeks already! How is that even possible? I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by. The other day, I spent the evening all cozied up with cafe con leche in my favorite coffee shop here and started planning spring break adventures. With the University of Alicante having an almost three week vacation from school, I’m all over using that time to really get some countries checked off my bucket list. After spending all of last weekend in Granada, Spain, my curiosity is at an all-time high to discover different countries, different cities within Spain and every cultural difference I can learn about.

Spanish city
The views of the different cities in Spain are enough to make you catch your breath.

Since the very beginning of our spring break start right before Easter, it is Semana Santa (Holy Week), which is a huge deal here in Spain. So some friends and I are packing up and heading to Sevilla, Spain, to experience it for ourselves. We’ll spend a few days there before heading to Brussels, Belgium. After Belgium is still up for discussion, but we are most likely headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, for a few days and then head to Dublin, Ireland, for the rest of break. One of my favorite things to date about living in Europe is the fact that I can so easily look at Google Flights, find the cheapest flights possible and ask myself, “What country do I want to go to this weekend?” There are a lot of perks to living here, but that is pretty hard to beat.

Speaking of perks of living here, I want to share some of my favorite little tidbits of information about living here so far that make me incredibly happy.

  1. Panaderías. Enough said. These bakeries are on seemingly every corner and carry some of the most delicious croissants, cakes and tarts you could ever imagine. These cute little places are the biggest blessing and curse rolled into one. With free WiFi, endless possibilities of new pastries to try and cute interiors, they just get me every time. It’s honestly a struggle getting off the tram and walking home without being tempted to stop by one and grab something. I simultaneously want to live in a pandería and never go there again. I’m looking at you, you little chocolate croissant that costs only .25 euro — you are the prime culprit here.
  2. A great public transport system. I live one block away from both the city’s main train station and the main tram station, which is a wonderful perk in my opinion. Yesterday I was able to head to a little city about 45 minutes away from Alicante for the day. It boasted a beautiful beach and a fun market lining the road nearby. Mostly though, I was thankful for the relaxation that came with yesterday, because we were able to lay on the beach with the sun brightly shining above us and the waves beating in front of us, and that truly feels so serene. Also, I use the tram system each morning to get to the university, which is about a 30-minute ride. Sometimes it feels like a drag, but most mornings it is a welcome ride as I spend it either finishing up some homework, listening to music, reading a good book or talking with friends. It’s a nice way to start the morning very peacefully.
  3. Fashion, fashion, fashion. Well, duh, this would be on my list of perks. But seriously. Of course, having a fashion blog and majoring in textile and apparel management makes me a prime candidate to go crazy with all the fashion here. But honestly, half the time I feel like I’m absolutely no match for the European fashion. With high heels, lots of black clothing and full faces of makeup every morning for school, the Spaniards honestly bring their A-game when it comes to fashion. While I’m sure this is something I’ll find to be similar as I travel throughout Europe, it definitely makes me realize actually how lousy everyone on a U.S. college campus dresses most of the time. That’s one lesson I hope to learn here: to ditch the messy bun and learn how to look a little more professional going to class. It’s definitely not necessary in Missouri, but the days I do dress up and look nice are quite a confidence booster. Thank goodness I live right down the street from ZARA. It’s been a lifesaver.
  4. The weather. This is probably the most obvious thing on my list, but living int he Costa Blanca region of Spain is really a fabulous thing. Alicante is the capital of the Costa Blanca and it is such a difference from living in the Midwest to suddenly have the ability to walk to Playa San Juan in under 15 minutes. Later today, we’re going to play some volleyball down by the water, which is a great way to spend the afternoons after classes or slow Sunday evenings.
  5. Sundays. Sundays have seriously always been my favorite day of the week for as long as I can remember. But in Spain, I am loving Sundays even more. Most stores and even a lot of restaurants are closed on Sundays, so it is really viewed as a day of rest and relaxation for everyone in Alicante. The streets are eerily bare most of the day, which is a stark contract to the city’s constant hustle and bustle the other six days of the week. My host family doesn’t even usually leave the house for anything on Sundays. To them, Sundays look like movie marathons on the couch in their pajamas. How great is that? On any given Sunday, you can find me either hanging out with my family or tucked into some small coffee shop reading a book. Whatever I’m doing, I’m definitely embracing the relaxation aspect.

Those are just a five of many incredible aspects of my time here in Alicante that really stick out to me. With my adventure only three weeks in, I can only imagine how long my list will be at the end of the semester.

Granada, Spain
Last weekend in Granada opened my eyes to an entirely new glimpse of culture in Spain.
Olivia B. in Alicante, Spain
Every single thing that I’ve done in Spain so far has been incredible and a new learning experience, so it’s a win-win!
About the blogger

Olivia B. is studying abroad on the Universidad de Alicante: ALI Abroad program in Alicante, Spain.