It is difficult to find the words to sum up this experience. It really is like no other. Being in another country is like being in another world. It is humbling to know that there are so many people different than you in this world. Foreign lands are only a plane, bus or train ticket away. My savings might be nonexistent after this, but my attitude has shifted. I would rather be rich with stories than to penny pinch and not make the most of my time here. I can’t even recognize the girl that spent her first nights in Barcelona restlessly tossing and turning in concern about money. Combining studying and travel is a strange concept to get used to. I never thought the statement “I was in Africa yesterday.” would come out of my mouth on a Monday morning in class. Every class, I can almost guarantee that every student on their laptops is researching and booking flights for their upcoming excursions. Also I’ve adjusted to this lifestyle, there will always be a part of me left in shock of how lucky we all are to be here. It is important to find the balance of experiencing life here and making use of the convenient forms of travel around Europe. Although I have been here since the beginning of January, I will not stop working towards making this my home. It is necessary to adjust to life here instead of expecting the culture to adjust to you. This balance is difficult to find in Barcelona, a city that is extremely accommodating to people all over the world. A couple weeks ago, I attended a protest called Casa Nostra, Casa Vostra. Thousands of Barcelona residents gathered in dissatisfaction about the small number of refugees that had been taken in. It is events like this that I want to be a part of. It was then that I could really get a feel for the Catalan culture. The stereotype of Catalans is that they are closed and unwelcoming to outsiders. This event was full of pride and warmth. People were passionate about opening these borders to welcome those in need. Never have I experienced such enthusiasm in a good cause. It was then, that I really felt immersed. I will continue to seek out cultural activities such as this, to really make Barcelona my home. There are no foreign lands, only foreign people.
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