Saturday, January 28, 2012

An Awesome Day in Barcelona

I am starting to have a lot of trouble speaking English. I will try to put together proper sentences, but they won't come out right because my mind is trying so hard to be bilingual. Today was a fun day, but since it was rainy, it made me a little more homesick than I would normally be. I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. I have decided that I need to start writing a little more about how I feel about the trip and not just the things that I did. That way, I can look back and remember how I progressed throughout the semester.

Host Family: My host family is so nice, but I still feel a little awkward around them. For example, when the kids are playing in the living room, I usually feel more comfortable talking on Facebook with my friends from the United States. I kind of feel like I am passing out on valuable time with them, but at the same time, I am usually very tired and I also miss my friends from home. I'm sure that things will be more comfortable for all of us as the semester goes on. 

Friends: I have found it very easy to make friends here in Barcelona. I'm not sure if that's because I am comfortable with who I am and confident in myself or if we all get along so well because we obviously are all so passionate about studying abroad and learning. It's probably a little bit of both. It seems like everyone makes a genuine effort to include everyone. I really enjoy spending time with the people that I have met here and am really glad that we are getting the chance to know each other.

The City: I absolutely love this city. It is very big, so there is always something new to do. I still haven't seen La Sagrada Familia, but I would like to do so sometime this week. One downfall is that the city has so many hills and mountains that it always seems like an extreme hike to get anywhere. Although I am usually out of breath when I reach my final destination, everything that I have seen is beautiful and worth hiking to. Also, since most of the places that I have been are at high altitudes, I have gotten to see some pretty amazing views of the city.

Missing Home: Sometimes, while I'm sleeping, I will forget that I am in a completely different country. Then, when I wake up, I realize that I am about to face an entire day of unfamiliar things. It's pretty hard to adapt to the language and culture barriers, but I am having a lot more patience with myself than I thought I would. One of my goals for this trip is to focus on learning about life instead of getting all As in my classes. Being abroad has already taught me to go with the flow, and to accept things the way that they are. Fortunately for me, I don't believe that I will ever be in a situation where I don't have the option to be successful. Just having that mind set gives me an advantage because I refuse to accept failure as a final answer. There are days where I wish that I could be back in Bloomington where the worst grades that I could get are Bs and I am constantly surrounded my familiar things, but honestly, I don't think that's what I want deep down. This trip is giving me the confidence I need. It is teaching me things that I will use for the rest of my life like how to adapt to new situations and get along with/ accept everyone. I love being abroad, even though I sometimes miss home.

Today: I'll preface this section by saying that I ate way to much today. Lunch was one of the biggest meals that I have ever had. We ate calcots (a special kind of onion), bread, meat, potatoes, and dessert. Of course, it was all delicious, and I had to force myself to stop eating. The good news is that we went on an hour and a half walk before the meal, which helped to burn at least some calories. After lunch, I came home and tried to take a nap, but I couldn't fall asleep. Then, I Skyped with Jason and talked to some other friends online. I am really lucky to have a boyfriend like Jason who understands why studying abroad is so important to me and is supporting me throughout the entire thing. After Skypeing with him, I ate dinner at my house. I actually had a pretty small meal which consisted of a few vegetables and some shark. Yep, shark. From the Mediterranean. It was delicious. After dinner, I started making plans with some of my friends to go out. First, we went to a little restaurant and had chocolate cake and wine. Needless to say, since those are two of my favorite things in the world, they were delicious. After the restaurant, we went to McDonald's to meet up with Alejandra and Lauren S. Then we went to Temple Bar to see if they were playing any good music since they sometimes have live performances. There was no live music, but we were all excited when we walked in and heard MGMT. We stayed there for a little bit, and then we decided to go to some places we had never been before. We went to a strange, smelly club with old hip hop music and a few other random places. Then, we found one of the greatest bars I have ever been to. The music was incredible. They played everything from The Beatles to House of Pain, but it was all oldies. The bartender told us that he would give us free shots if we danced on the bar, so of course I went for it. (Sorry Mom. Carpe diem, right?) At one point, a man was skateboarding on the bar right in front of me. It was just all so much fun. Although I was kind of homesick through most of the day, I can say that I was genuinely happy at the bar with great music and even better friends. I am excited to see how the rest of the trip unfolds. Even if there are difficult days, I will know that there are always people who love me and understand.

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