As an American I feel that my life is perceived around the world to be too fruitful, as in I have too much appreciation for material things. And so, this would create, based on that stereotype, to mean that when I travel to a place like Barcelona, that I will not immerse myself into their culture because I am too caught up in my own. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I use my phone solely to contact people now (I know, how weird), and instead of passing my time watching TV and sitting around, I find myself walking around to a new place, because I have still managed to find new spots. If I have an hour or two to burn, I will sit on the steps of a cathedral and watch the people walk by, observe the street performers, or even just listen to music and daydream. As an American, my life ritual is defined by other cultures as materialistic, and I would agree. However, what Barcelona has done for me is incredible, as I now know what it’s like to enjoy my time alone, talking to strangers, traveling to a new place, and enjoying the life in front of me instead of being worried about what is behind me. I’ve become more self aware and realized the areas in which I needed to improve, and for once did something about it. So yes, Americans do not exactly have a life ritual to speak of, but if you ask me, it is something to appreciate that as an American, I can adapt; my culture at home isn’t set in stone. Americans may not have a life ritual, but everybody can live the life they choose and even if the life they chose isn’t what they wanted it to be, the beauty of America is the ability to change. I’ve changed, and so can everyone else.
My digital story recaps the life I lived for the past 3 months, and all of the places I’ve seen, and the relationships I’ve begun to grow. The saddest part of the trip is leaving Barcelona, and with it everything I have known for the past 3 months. I’m leaving behind my new friends, traveling, the food, the weather, the culture, and a certain piece of myself. I wanted to stress my time abroad through a story that revolves around my favorite activity of skiing. I’m on top of the mountain looking down at what I’m about to do, ergo the first time I stepped foot in Spain and saw the new place I was about to conquer. It wasn’t until I made it halfway down the mountain that I looked up and saw everything that had already passed by, fortunately I still had more time until I got to the bottom, until I end my program. And now, with the last few turns to be made on the mountain, and just a week or two to go, I’m looking back up at what I have accomplished, the things I’ve seen and done. My time abroad has been a challenging mountain, but a smooth one; a fun, yet rigorous path. The things that i have learned about myself not only have transitioned me into a more self reliant person, but also a better friend, student, and soon to be colleague, as I will never forget this experience and I’ll carry this journey down the mountain with me forever, and I have a new piece of artwork to prove it.