Jet lag, google maps, and gelato

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I’m in Spain! I still find it hard to believe that I am actually here, but I’m slowly becoming more used to the fact that I’m in another country. My flight landed on Monday morning and thankfully, I had the same one as a few other girls in my study abroad program, so we were able to navigate our layover and arrival altogether. I will admit, getting out of the Barcelona Airport and into the streets to find the express bus we needed to take was hectic. I felt so lost, and I was a mix of nervousness and fear. I wondered whether this was a good idea. However, the other girls and I eventually figured out where we needed to go and so we began our trip towards our hotel. After taking the express bus, we dragged our suitcases across the streets of Barcelona to take the metro, which would leave us a few blocks from the hotel. I remember my google maps wasn’t working and I was relying on someone else to navigate our way there. However, I started asking questions and talking to other girls, only to realize they were also facing the same issues as me with their phones and one of them was actually able to help me fix my google maps so I could see my location. This was a relief and once we were at the hotel, I felt like I could finally settle in, at least for a bit. The fact that I was no longer in the United States kept replaying in the back of my mind, but I kept reassuring myself that everything would be alright. After being able to check in and wandering the streets of Barcelona, I realized how out of place I felt, and how people visiting the United States for the first time perhaps felt the same way I was at that moment. This made me more understanding of where others may come from and opened my eyes to just how much of a struggle it can be to adjust to a new country. I was extremely jet lagged and still am, but overall I felt like I could relate to people who were visiting a country for the first time, and I began to see just how much there was to learn in such little time. Whether it was navigating the metro, ordering food, or paying with euros, my first couple days being abroad was definitely a learning experience, but I’m glad I’ve allowed myself to sit with my discomfort in these instances because I’ve already seen some personal growth happening. Now that it is Friday, and we’ve moved to Madrid, I actually feel more comfortable navigating the streets on my own. I am sometimes the navigator when I go out with friends, and I have even started looking into restaurants I want to try, as well as places I want to see. I hope I will continue to adapt to my time here, and pick up on more of the culture as well as hold more conversations with the locals here. The pictures I’ve included are two that I thought would be fitting with this first blog post, one being my favorite picture of the trip so far, which is from when I was walking through the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, and the second picture is the first gelato I had, which brought a smile to my face since I knew it was something I wanted to try while in Europe. Overall, there is still so much more to learn but I’m looking forward to how the rest of my time will be!