Bus 41

Meredith M. is currently a junior at SYA Spain and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Milton Academy in Massachusetts.

I am not a morning person. Anyone who really knows me can tell you that. So, when I first heard  that my house in Zaragoza was one of the furthest away from school, I was a bit worried. I was nervous about how I would handle waking up early, catching the autobus on time, and navigating my way to school on my own. And, at first - of course - it really was one of my biggest challenges. My first month in Spain was full of poor timing decisions resulting in desperate early morning sprints to catch a bus that was already well on its way to el centro. And several unexcused tardies. Yes, I made lots of mistakes during my morning commute in September and October and had to rely heavily on my trusty Google Maps to navigate alternative ways to school more often than I want to admit. However, I can now say with confidence - and genuine surprise -  that I have become an expert commuter. And, even perhaps more shockingly, I have actually begun to appreciate waking up early - one of my most surprising discoveries of this year so far!

Every day, I set my alarm to 7:15 AM. This early in the morning, the sun still hasn’t risen in Zaragoza and the sky outside my window is pitch-black. But, as I get myself ready for school, I can hear my neighborhood begin to wake up, and the orange sunrise slowly lights up my room. I now know that I must leave the house at 7:37 AM on the dot. This leaves me the perfect amount of time to walk the 3 minutes to the bus stop, catch the 41 bus to the center, and still have just enough time to grab a cafe con leche at El Criollo, my favorite coffee shop. The slow-paced mornings in Zaragoza, and the warmth of El Criollo make the perfect start to each day. In fact, my 25 minute commute to the coffee shop has become one of the highlights of my day. Each morning, from inside the warm 41 bus, I get to watch the sun paint the sky from blue to pink to orange, as the city begins to come alive. Most importantly, though, every morning, while I sit in the faded, red seats of Bus 41, I have time to reflect on everything that I have learned and experienced so far this year. 

This quiet time alone in the early morning has provided me with the precious gift of moments for self-reflection. Sometimes I just need this time alone to prepare myself mentally for a day of Spanish classes or to check in with myself about how I feel being so far away from home. Bus 41 has become a place for me to take a moment to slow down, appreciate my struggles, and celebrate my little moments of success. As I have now been in Zaragoza for nearly three months, I have come to love getting up early and I am so grateful for my daily morning commute on bus 41 to school.

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A New Home

Campus reporter Quinn H. writes about her first impressions of her new home in Viterbo.

Bus 41

Campus reporter Meredith M. writes about her morning routine and commuting to school.