In one week, I depart from Portland to the east coast. Wow, has this winter break flown by! Instead of flying directly from the west coast to Europe, I decided it would be more manageable to break the flight up. I’ll be visiting my family in New York for 3 days before departing for Barcelona, Spain. I like this idea for many reasons; it shortens the travel time and I have the opportunity to ease my way into the trip!
After months of preparation, the time is nearing for the biggest adventure of my life so far! Though my family is very supportive, I will be honest in saying the trip is not coming at a perfect time. My dad is pretty ill and leaving him will be very difficult. After many hard conversations, encouragement from my family & friends, and my own longing to travel to Europe- I have become less apprehensive about the trip and more excited.
For Christmas, my mom gave me a Lonely Planet guide book to the city of Barcelona. After reading all of the exciting reviews of the numerous restaurants, museums, markets, and day trips… Everything is becoming more real and the possibilities for my 4-month adventure are endless. I am living in an awesome neighborhood in the city center, merely a block away from my university, the beach, and in the heart of all of the action. I’m looking forward to meeting my roommate, Bryn, who is from Portland, ME (funny, huh?). We are living with an elderly host mom, Estela, is an apartment with her perro (dog). I look forward to meeting them & becoming acquainted with the city.
With years of Spanish language and culture classes, I’m very excited to experience the Spanish lifestyle first-hand. I’m anticipating some culture shock, and I imagine I will be a little hesitant and overwhelmed initially. However, one of my main goals is to really immerse myself in the experience by putting my Spanish to use (even though I’ve heard many Spaniards would rather practice their English with you if given the chance!). So after the initial adjustment, I fully intend to come out of my comfort zone and demonstrate the old saying “Practice makes perfect” in regards to my Spanish.
If there is one larger goal for my excursion to Barcelona, I would say it rests on the hope that I take full advantage of all of the culture has to offer. I want to visit sites I normally would not be interested in and try foods I typically shy away from at home i.e. seafood! I want to return home in 4 months knowing I took part in all the opportunities presented to me.