Three months ago, I traveled 6,371km from Pennsylvania to Barcelona and began one of the greatest experiences of my life. Back then, I was curious and eager to explore this new world. I wanted to do everything and felt like I had all the time in the world to do so. However, I didn’t take into consideration how fast time would go. This week I have to say goodbye to a lot of my friends that I’ve made here because their time is up and I am just so sad that everything is coming to an end. On the other hand, I am so happy to have had the chance to form such tight bonds and close relationships so fast. I also know that this is not a goodbye but a see you later to my friends and to Barcelona as a whole.
I didn’t realize how close I was to leaving back home until finals hit. Suddenly I had 10 page papers to turn in and exams to study for. That was when I finally looked at the date and I was shocked to see I had two weeks left after my final exam. Even worse was realizing I had only a handful of days left with many of my friends who leave right after finals. It was all so devastating, but there was no time to sulk. My friends and I have been spending as much time together as possible and doing everything we can in Barcelona before having to leave it behind.
We sang our hearts out at our favorite karaoke place and have been eating at all our favorite restaurants we have come to love in the city like Waffle Barcelona and El Rincon. We’ve been visiting some of our favorite places like Barceloneta beach and Parc de la Ciutadella. We’ve also been hitting new spots that are must sees before leaving like the Carmel Bunkers and La Sagrada Familia. Some of my friends have even got Barcelona inspired tattoos to immortalize this journey forever. Our last venture together is going out one last time to the discoteca and ending it with a bang. I think it’s the perfect sendoff and it’s only right to end it with a huge celebration of completing something so life-changing.
I will forever cherish my time in Barcelona. I got to live with a host family and indulge in Spanish culture like never before. My Spanish improved and I got to study at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, which was a cool change of campus from my small school back home. I got to know the city well enough to really know where I was going and have mastered all forms of public transportation. I also got to travel so much to Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, Morocco, Brussels, Mallorca, Portugal, Switzerland, and Seville. Traveling has definitely changed who I am as a person. It gave me a new rush of energy and I feel like I can do anything in life. I feel ready to graduate and look forward to reaching all my goals in life; a new goal of mine is coming back to visit Barcelona one day. Honestly three months was the perfect amount of time to change and grow as a person. I’m sad to have to go, but I’m leaving with beautiful memories of a once in a lifetime experience.