Being an intern at Cats Hostels has been an experience I didn’t expect. I kind of came in thinking I would be doing finances and business and I think what I ended up leaving with, is not only an understanding of business but a greater sense of what it’s like to be from Madrid. I met incredible people who are passionate about the work that they are doing. I am leaving really inspired and grateful that I had this opportunity that a lot of people don’t have!

What has been the highlight of your experience?

Honestly these entire three months have been the happiest I have ever been in my entire life, like literally I can feel myself like I’m never not smiling when I’m here, if that makes sense. Even if I wake up ten minutes before, I catch the metro and I’m running in-between classes or my laptop breaks or something, I generally feel that this entire trip has been me just constantly smiling and even if it’s raining out and I see people walking, and I see the building, and the balconies and I am just interacting with these people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

What are you going to miss most about Madrid?

There is a lot to miss, for example my host family. I really love them and for me it’s kind of weird because I am not super close to my family and knowing that I have family where ever I go now, even at the hostel or my host family, like the friends I made here, that is something that I am going to take away with me!

I feel that I have really learned how I want to live my life and raise my family by living with them and even at work, how I want to take on what I do like when I listen to Marta my manager, speak about her ideas and passions, or even when I am with a co-worker out of the office and telling me what they want to do after all of that, is something I come to take away.

Also I was kind of scared to work at a hostel but even sitting here and seeing the type of people come into this space and thinking yeah, I’m 20 years old and I have so much time to travel and do all these things and I’m so lucky to be 20 and see all the cities. I’m meeting all these people I’m going to miss, I guess. I’m still trying not to think about the fact that I am leaving cause I’m so sad about it, I think.

I’ve grown a lot since I’ve been here in ways I didn’t expect to. I think I’m really proud of myself I have become more independent, I feel that I carry myself a lot better and I am excited of the type of person I am going to get back to the US as I feel that I have gained a lot of experience and a new perspective on life that I wouldn’t of really had otherwise.