Even if you’re not traveling the world, I dare to say April is the busiest month of the year for students because the school year comes to a close. This April was no exception, however, the busyness was full of exciting things and memories that will last a lifetime.
After getting back from spring break, it was Easter! My family is very involved in the Easter events at our church back home, so for the first time since I set off in January, I truly missed home. To combat this, I tried going to a service at the International Church of Barcelona. It was really cool to see people from all nations coming together to celebrate the same Christ who died for our sins halfway across the world.
I turned 20! It was strange not being with my family and friends on my birthday – the first time in my now 20 years of life, but I did go out for some Italian food with some of my new ASA buds. (Sadly, there was no birthday discount) Another plus, due to the 7 hour time difference, my birthday seemed to last 7 hours longer!
April 4th – 11th
My mom came to visit me!! This was VERY exciting, and I enjoyed sharing my new city with her. I kept her incredibly busy as we went to see all the hot spots Barcelona has to offer – Parc Guell, the beach, Sagrada Familia, the Magic Fountain show, the bunkers, etc. And of course we enjoyed some delicious typical food – patatas bravas, colçots, pan con tomate, paella, crema catalana, etc. She was even able to join me and my program in a spanish cooking workshop! We had a blast together and I am so fortunate that she was able to come experience a slice of Spain with me.
April 12th – 14th
Back in January, my friend Claire and I had bought a trip through Bus2Alps to go to Croatia. I was told Croatia is BEAUTIFUL, and it is true, it is. Sadly, I didn’t get to stay long because plane tickets to and from Split/Barcelona are not super cheap which made us have less time there than we would have liked. However, I did spend a magical day floating down the Cetina River in a raft and having the time of my life. WOW, it was GORGEOUS! and we were able to jump off cliffs and swim, and I met some other lovely ladies traveling around who joined me on my raft. This was a peaceful weekend stop.
April 15th – April 25th
Then it was preparing for the end. I had a lot of finals and projects to complete, including a stressful marketing group assignment, but I made it through and out the other side! I made a conscious effort to embrace the beauty of Barcelona because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing it much longer. Saying goodbye to my classmates and professors was sad, as we are now scattered across the world never to all unite again. My program had a farewell dinner, so we could all get together one last time, which was lovely. I don’t think it has really hit me yet that my program is done. There have been so many times we have all hopped on airplanes to travel for a week, but we always returned. I don’t think it will sink in that we aren’t all returning until I am back home in MN for a few weeks. (BEWARE the reverse culture shock)
That being said, this has been an incredible experience that I can’t even put it all into words. I have learned so much – not just academically or culturally but about myself.
I strongly encourage everyone to get outside their comfort zone and travel!
Before my return, I have one more bout of traveling ahead of me – London, Paris, and Rome. Then I will fly back to Barcelona to pick up my bags and return home to the USA.
Last modified: July 2, 2018