I was an exchange student in Madrid between September 2010 and July 2011. During my time studying at the University of Autonoma Madrid, I was surrounded by people from Spain and Latin America and many other countries of the world. I started to slowly see the world with less nationalized eyes. I saw people less for how French or Turkish or Puerto Rican they acted, and I began to see them more and more for the person whom they were. By the time my time in Spain ended, I felt as if I had finally lived in the country I was meant to be born into. Spain taught me to think in an entirely new mind. It was where I learned to be first and foremost a global citizen.

Another trip of note: Me and the other NYU students were invited to a special trip to a city in Spain called Malaga, in order to understand the unique Medieval and Islamic architecture of the city. We ended our journey at a church. The church’s influence was heavily influenced by both Islamic and Christian architecture, and somehow, it was reminding me of my moments in Madrid. In Madrid, I ended up running across from people of all the nationalities of the world. Unlike in the United States, these were people who knew their culture, and would speak about all of the problems and events of the world. I also thought about the past. Due to the creation of the European Union, Europe started to see itself as one community. These countries were destroying the borders of their culture and replacing it with a new mixture, much like how the Muslims and Christians formed their own unique Al-Andalusian culture in Spain.

I realized it when I was looking at that church. I wanted to write something that could also destroy all of the borders of our earth and imagine our planet as one.