I have a very unique opportunity studying abroad in Europe because it is so easy to travel from place to place. I can go from Barcelona to a number of other equally unique cities in Spain, as well as all of the nearby countries. I have wanted to explore the world for as long as I can remember and now I’m making it a reality. Something I am constantly grateful for even though I really haven’t sleep much because I feel like every second I’m going someplace new. It’s funny how much my view on airports has changed too. While buses and trains are often ridiculously cheap, getting to your destination quickly becomes so much more valuable when you have limited time in a location. So flying is often the easiest way to go. In the past I enjoyed going to the airport because it meant I was going off on a vacation with my family or friends. It was somewhat stressful going through the motions of packing and making my way through security, but in all I beyond excited to go someplace new. Now I see an airport and a sense of calm comes over me. The security line has become a breeze and finding which gate I need to go to has become second nature to me. The anticipation for my destination is greater now too. I’m in love with the sensation off take off and the first moment the plane touches the ground. There is something so satisfying about traveling on your own too. I know that the places I am going to are the exact places I want to see and while I’m there I’m going to all the places I’ve made a list to go see. The amount of things I have been able to see and do within a single weekend is surreal. They have become the perfect amount of time for incomparable excursions.
Airport terminals are fascinating as well. Every airport is different. Some are more elaborate than others and you find yourself immersed in stores and restaurants of all varieties. Some are so simple you almost worry about the safety level of the airport. I’ve realized how much I love comparing all of them to the culture of the city I land in. There are usually some facet of the airport that perfectly describes the city you are in. For example, the airport in Barcelona has quite a few high-end clothing stores and it is a rare occurrence to see a local poorly dressed.
My final thought about airports, is about the differences in quality of airlines. If you happen to be looking for cheap airlines in Europe, Vueling is the way to go. Not only do the flights begin and end with a calming playlist, softly playing in the background, but also I never feel like the pilot is going to lose control of the plane at any second. Which is actually a feeling I’ve had too many times since traveling here (RyanAir anyone…)
I know my flight home is going to be unlike any other I’ve had this semester. It’s going to be completely bittersweet. I love living in Barcelona. So far I haven’t visited a single place that I like better. There’s always something to do and explore, every single day of the week. And honestly it feels more like home here than anywhere I’ve ever been before. Taking the time to go do something new every day has changed how I view life. The possibilities are endless here in Barcelona. Everything you do and see is a memory that could not possibly happen back at home. I’m not a very athletic person but so far this semester I’ve hiked to the top of two different mountains. I have never seen a view more incredible. I have also hiked up to an incredibly high point of Barcelona to watch the sunset where an old military bunker resides. Life has a funny way of bringing you to the most perfect situations when you’re abroad. And all the people you meet make you realize how large and small the world is. It’s large because there are so many different people in it, so many distinctive cultures, memories, and habits. But it is also very small because when you get talking to someone new, almost everyone you meet shares something common with you, whether it is a person or place you both know, or even an idea you both agree upon.