Today is the 10th day that I’ve been in Barcelona and it feels like it’s been a month. Time really flies here and it’s crazy to see that I’ve already become pretty accustomed to the way things work here. With that being said I definitely still feel that I am both here and not here. I’ve noticed that when I wake up in the morning or have time where I’m waiting for someone, that I’ll want to check Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat to see what everyone is up to; it was something I did fairly often at home in the States. The only thing is that now it’s keeping me attached to the people I left back home, it’s keeping me from fulling immersing myself in the culture. I’ve slowly been keeping myself away from the social medias but I’m finding that I’m still home a little, at least mentally that is. I still have the tendencies to check group chats and see if people are still trying to reach me back home which is keeping me in a state of liminality.
My separation from America seems to have been a pretty smooth transition because I traveled here with two other people that I know from Quinnipiac and it has made the transition way easier Having a friend or two to fall back on when I’m feeling lost in a new place is really nice for me. I’ve made new friends here that are from other schools and it’s been a great experience so far. I feel like I’m traveling the world with my best friends and I met them just 10 days ago. This experience has brought me a new sense of responsibility already in that time, so to say my transition was pretty smooth seems like an understatement. On page 171 Slimbach says, “find imaginative ways to invite the unknown and cultivate a network of close-knit and supportive [international] friends.” (Slimbach 171). I have an unbelievable sense of bewilderment every time I walk outside of my apartment. I smile and get excited every time I smell that Barcelona air, it’s calming to me walking around this city because I can feel it changing me. Just traveling around the city with me new best friends that I met last week gives me a sense of pride. To feel this “at-home” in a new city where they speak a language I hardly understand, is very different for someone like me. Someone who thought they chose a big school in Quinnipiac is suddenly a city kid who takes the train to class. From a town of 10,000 people to a city of 1.5 million, it would seem that I should struggle to find myself in this world of Spain. My new abroad community is a group of 7-8 people who have the same appreciation for traveling that I do and I’m having the time of my life with like-minded people.
The picture I chose to use for my trip to Barcelona is this picture from Park Guell here in Barcelona.
Seeing something like this is person is surreal because it’s a place that I never thought I would be able to visit. Finding myself in one of the most beautiful places in the world gave me that sense of bewilderment that I was missing in my daily life at Quinnipiac. I have a better sense of pride just from being in Barcelona and seeing iconic places like this and it’s only the beginning for me.