After living in Barcelona for a month, I am convinced that this coastal city has a bit of everything – mountains, beaches, perfect weather, and a vibrant community. As I near the end of my study abroad experience, I cling on to the routine that I established. Every morning I would take the metro to my university. The cool Barcelona air would hit my face, and I got to appreciate the brief calmness of Las Ramblas.
Linda, an older woman who owned a gift shop
stand, would greet me on my way to class everyday. During lunch my classmates and I would get to eat on the beach, and for dinner my roommates and I would head to the market to cook and create dishes using some of the fresh produce we would purchase.
Although these small details aren’t as extravagant as Barcelona’s architecture or nightlife, my study abroad routine gave me a brief preview as to what life would be like if I lived here. I used to think that culture only varied our everyday lifestyle briefly, but everyday life in Spain is vastly different.
I found myself walking ten miles everyday and the public transportation system meant that I would get to hear the stories of many different faces. Everyday I would see something new, a new museum, monument, show, the list was endless. A month just isn’t enough to see and experience all of Barcelona.
To commemorate our final days in Barcelona, we visited some bunkers that gave us a panoramic view of Barcelona. The bus ride to the bunker was long, but I had one last chance to appreciate the city. The bunker was on right on top of a steep hill, its almost as if Barcelona wanted to give me one last tiring walk.
As we watched the sunset, I looked around and appreciated the new friendships that I made. That was another thing Barcelona gave me, new friendships. It’s so strange to think that some of the closet friends I made on this trip attend the same university as me, but it wasn’t until we were halfway around the world that we met. Although I’m going to miss Barcelona, I’m glad that the friends I made will be going back to the same city as me so we’ll always have each other to reflect on this adventure.
I know it might sound cliche, but studying abroad is life changing. Before I left to Barcelona I was nervous about living in another country and any of the obstacles that I would encounter. Now, I’m more comfortable and confident when trying new things. I’m more outgoing and most importantly, I’m independent.
Studying abroad teaches you the importance of tolerance, the beauty of culture, and gives you a look into a vast world that’s out there. Studying abroad will push you out of your comfort zone, trust me. But the person that will blossom from the trip will surprise you.