some flowers I bought myself 

Hellloooo! I hope you're all well, I'm writing to you from my new apartment in a very bougie part of Madrid, a city I've been living in for a month now...isn't that crazy! I started work a few weeks ago, so for the 4 weeks before that I'd been making the most of what my french flatmate calls the chĂ´mmage life, spending the days settling in, exploring, shopping, eating so many raciones de tortilla and patatas bravas and churros con chocolate, trying to figure out how to socialise in a way that's safe, going on walks and having Italian food cooked for me by guys I've met 2 hours ago. La dolce vita for sure. 

But I also want to keep it real, the first week and a bit were so difficult and consisted of many tears and anxiety, hormonal acne because #stress, opening of a bank account, getting boring admin stuff done etc and feeling massively overwhelmed in the cheese aisle of the supermarket and crying on the phone wanting to go home. I've always considered myself a very independent person who is more than capable of packing up her stuff, moving away and being alone, but the dynamic of the majority of the past year has definitely compromised such abilities. With quarantine, I guess I'd forgotten what it's like to be alone again. But a few weeks of getting back into the routine of things, I'm loving my independence all over again and have struck a good balance with my social life.

My first 24 hours in my new flat was so overwhelming in a multitude of ways, first of all my bed was broken once I arrived which filled me with anxiety but thankfully was replaced by my landlord within an hour. Also the prospect of 4 whole weeks with no structure to my day was so intimidating. But I was also inundated with so much niceness, like my flatmate who I'd literally met less than an hour ago trying to help me fix my bed and cooking me dinner that night, the lady at the bank being so nice when helping me set up my bank account or my other flatmate who I met the next morning making me breakfast and offering to go on a food shop with me to avoid floods of tears like the first time. I'm so grateful to be living in a flat with such wonderful and interesting and cool people who I really click with (totally by chance!) after such a tumultuous flat search. 

Madrid itself has been lovely so far. I remember it feeling a little anticlimactic as I went into the centre and took it all in like "oh, okay so I'm here now and standing in puerta del sol... nice!" but it really is the kind of city that grows on you and is built on so much character and charisma. Even though the city is notably different with covid, the streets are still somewhat bustling and the same warmth and openness persists with so many small bars and independent shops. I really do love Madrid. It's a bit crazy that I actually live here now. The charity shops are amazing, I've fallen in love with Humana which is like Oxfam but better, it's filled with some incred clothes - I've already bought quite a few Depop standard vintage pieces and all priced between 3-4 euros which is insane to me, it makes sustainable clothes shopping so much easier. I've slowly but surely gotten back into cooking and baking, I'd forgotten how nice it is to take 30 mins to an hour of the evening to play some music and cook with others or just alone. I'm making new friends (people. are. so. NICE. here) and also deepening friendships with those who have also come from Exeter, I hadn't realised how anti-social I was when it came to my course mates oops. I've been having super shitty luck with guys though, my poor flatmates have heard my continuous complaining about boys. I'm still getting through my roll of film but I already can't wait to see the photos when developed. I've gone for spontaneous piercings. I've also realised how much more free I am with the way I dress, I can't lie I've been turning a couple looks over the last month and I'm loving experimenting with my style and finding new ways to style the limited clothes I've brought with me. It definitely helps that the women my age here just dress impeccably, my metro journeys are always filled with super well dressed people. I've been exploring so many new parts of the city, wandering around museums, book shops and vintage stores, strolling in parks and catching sunsets. There's so many more places in Madrid, and just outside of it, that I'm yet to explore and I can't wait to do so. I'm already dreaming of roadtripping to the Basque country in the spring (if it's safe). All in all, my first month of my year abroad has been absolutely lovely and I'm feeling very blessed to be here. 

Anyway! this is getting quite long so I'll leave this here and hopefully share some more photos and stories in the coming weeks. 

Love Dalal xx 


  1. Ahhh I CANNOT wait to see more photos! This is making me feel horrifically nostalgic about when I first arrived in Bordeaux for my year abroad. Such good vibes. It's so nice that you've settled in and get on well with your flatmates :) such good vibes, I'm so excited to see more of what you get up to!! Lots of love xx

  2. I'm so glad to hear your flatmates are so lovely and helped you when you felt so vulnerable. I hope Madrid is still treating you well and you enjoy your time!

    Lucy | Forever September


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