Personal Blog

Moving From Geneva To Madrid - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I thought I would talk about my experience regarding moving from Geneva, Switzerland to Madrid, Spain. As many of you know, I lived in Geneva for ten years and it’s where I finished high school and completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. It’s definitely a place that I associate with comfort and home because it’s where I grew up and made a lot of memories. Whilst I was in high school, my father actually shifted to Madrid, Spain due to his business but my mother continued to live with me in Geneva because I didn’t want to change schools. Now that I have finished high school, my mother is going to be living in Madrid with my father. This summer, my brother and I, along with my mother, have spent a lot of time in Madrid in order to settle everyone down and get started on our new lives here. I’ve really loved it here so far and I thought that I would just talk about what it’s been like for me to move cities during the summer and what I’ve been up to in Madrid. If any of you live in Madrid and have any good restaurants or sites that you think I should visit before I move to Toronto to go to college, then make sure to let me know! Without further ado, let’s get started.

I think that one of the biggest challenges with moving to Madrid is language. In Geneva, for example, I didn’t have a difficult time communicating with anyone because I speak fluent French and everyone in Geneva speaks French. In Madrid, however, everyone speaks Spanish and I only know a few words in Spanish. I mean, I learnt it in school for around three years, but then I decided to drop it and started studying International Relations instead. My parents have never spoken Spanish before either. Therefore, when we go out shopping or go eat in restaurants, it’s slightly difficult for us to communicate with the store owners or waiters. Many people think that because Madrid is such an international city, people do know how to speak English, but literally nobody does. I suppose it’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s forcing my parents to learn to speak Spanish and to try something out of their comfort zones. It’s also a beautiful language and it’s a language that is widely spoken around the world and I think learning it would bring many benefits to my parents, aside from just being able to communicate whilst living in Madrid. I am also thinking about learning Spanish again, maybe not in university but just in my spare time so I am able to communicate in an easier manner when I come back to Spain and visit my family. Thus, even though language is a challenge here, it’s still exciting and forces us to try something new.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been doing a lot here compared to what I would be doing if I was still living in Geneva as I’ve mainly just been watching a lot of television and working on my website and screenplays, and that’s what I did in Geneva too. However, a big difference that I’ve made to my lifestyle is that I’ve started going to the gym three times a week. My parents got me my own trainer and he sets up really great and intensive routines for me to do. I’m so glad that I’ve started to go to the gym more often and really challenge myself because I feel so much better all the time and am beginning to have more confidence within myself. Because I work out at the gym so often, I feel more refreshed during the day and am more motivated to work on this website and my screenplays. Along with going to the gym, I’ve started swimming a lot more too. Luckily, my apartment complex has a pool downstairs for all residents to use so it’s easy for me to go swimming the days that I’m not at the gym. This way, I try and work out at least an hour everyday and it feels great to know that I’m finally taking care of my body. When I had my IB exams, I stress ate so much and was constantly eating junk food to try and make myself feel better about my exams. I definitely put on some weight and now I’m trying to be more fit and I’m glad I’ve made that decision. I hope that when I go to university and exam time comes around, I’m able to control myself and continue to be healthy rather than go to junk food as a way to make myself feel better. Apart from this, I’ve enjoyed seeing downtown Madrid and visiting places such as “Sol” because that’s where all the main shopping areas and restaurants are. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Madrid!

Shreya Sachdev