Even though I’ve always pictured myself studying abroad for more than just a couple weeks, I would be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t extremely anxious this past week. Traveling has always seemed so adventurous and carefree to me, but living in a foreign country for an extended period of time is a pretty solid commitment. The funny part of this whole thing was that nothing really hit me until the turbulence from our transatlantic flight woke me up and I realized we were directly above Spain roughly 12 hours ago.
Well, there’s no turning back now.
My first day after the travel day consisted of struggling to drag two suitcases (46.5 and 50.5 pounds respectively) through the Barcelona airport and up into my residence hall. My flight arrived at 7:30 local time and you know how jet lag works, so my companions from Chicago and I needed to stay up the entire first day. My adrenaline kept me going until about noon when I hit a wall, then successfully overcame after exploring what will be my new neighborhood for the next four months. My initial assumptions about what the city
would look like were fairly off-base, but that could just be because of the smaller residential neighborhood in which we’re living. The streets are quaint with colorful buildings and winding, narrow alleys. The mountains emerge when you least expect to see them in the north and palm trees grow next to deciduous ones in harmony. Residents hang their wash to dry on their balconies and walk down the streets holding baguettes.
At the end of the day, sandwiches were successfully ordered in Spanish and other necessary purchases were made. I’m completely exhausted but happy to be able to explore the city more the rest of my first week.
- De-icing a plane takes a very long time
- Three-pronged voltage converters are required for MacBook Pro chargers
- Plastic bags are, in fact, not free here in Barca