Four years ago this weekend, I left North America for the first time to spend a week in Barcelona. The experience left an impression on me that is difficult to articulate. I returned feeling there was a lot more to the world than I previously imagined. The busting city and diversity within the waves of people in the streets made my life at home seem so small and predictable. Barcelona provided constant new sensations, from the wide variety of new foods, to the thriving art scene, to the smell of the sea, to the new feeling of frustration while communicating with someone without a shared language. All this and the general cultural differences ensured I was constantly engaged in my immediate surroundings.
The city was so beautiful but also ugly in ways I was never exposed to at home. I had some negative and frightening encounters. In a way though it made the experience feel more real and useful when considering the emotional and personal growth that came out of it. After all, I did come home hopelessly addicted to the idea of exposing myself to new places. I find it amazing that I didn’t expect to be impacted in such a way and I was fortunate enough to even go. It’s one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to me.
The last four years have easily been the best of my life and traveling has contributed to a lot of joy and learning.
Thanks for reading,