Travel Log 8:Global Responsibility

After having been in Barcelona for almost 7 weeks, I’ve found that I haven’t fully disconnected myself from home yet and I genuinely don’t think I ever will.  Now having said that, I do feel comfortable in Barcelona and other the other countries I travel to, but my heart is and always will be at home.  From watching my home town football team win the Super Bowl, to having a constant social media connection to my friends back home at Quinnipiac.  Having been in Barcelona for the seven weeks I’ve been here I would describe myself as a seasoned traveler, but the connections I’ve made with the people here haven’t been as long lasting as I would have hoped.  Learning to be more independent and doing what I want when I want has given me a whole new perspective on other people and myself.  When Slimbach states that students acquire very, ““…little of the new cultural knowledge, language ability, and perspective change that marks a well-traveled mind” (Slimbach 35), I feel as though he’s entirely right.  Surrounded every day by American students has brought me very little to no cultural influence.  Much of what I learn about Barcelona, Catalunya, or even Spain, is through my own exploration and by having meaningful conversations with my professors or native Spanish people.  This past week I visited Sitges for a Carnaval parade and ended up having a conversation with three Spanish speaking gentleman for 20-30 minutes all in their native tongue.  It was really rewarding for me because it showed me that Spain has already had an impact on me enough to speak freely without using any English.  So while I agree that Slimbach has a good point in that most students don’t even really attempt to try and acquire cultural knowledge, I feel like it is unfair to characterize all American study abroad students as that.   My ability to be courageous enough to test my Spanish knowledge with people who’s native tongue is Spanish made me feel better about how I’m immersing myself into the culture of Barcelona.

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