Before I left for Barcelona, I decided to make a list of goals and expectations for my trip, which you can see in the featured image photo. I did this because I wanted to make my time abroad worthwhile. Some of things on the list may seem trivial, but this is how I decided to shape my experience.
Although I made this list with the intentions of achieving all of these goals and being aware of my own personal expectations, it’s not like I looked at it every single day and it changed the entire course of my day. To me, it’s important to have balance, even when you are abroad. Yes, I let this list motivate me, but I didn’t let it take away from other experiences.
For example, one of my goals was to start a vlog, which I did. In the beginning of my trip, I tried to vlog as often as I could. However, it became a burden because why would I want to sit inside and edit videos when I could be out in Barcelona exploring the city with new friends? Therefore, I simply adapted my goal. I still continued to record videos all throughout my travels, and now that I am home and have more free time, I can edit them freely. This way it’s even better, too, because now I have an excuse to reminisce on all the amazing memories I made.
Even though I made expectations, some of them weren’t exactly on par. I knew that I would struggle a bit with language acquisition, but I thought I would be able to adapt a bit faster since I already had experience speaking Spanish in Spain. However, I didn’t realize how prominent Catalan really is in Barcelona. Yes, everyone does know how to speak Spanish and you can definitely communicate that way, but locals typically talk to each other in Catalan. Therefore, I felt like I was really missing out on building my Spanish vocabulary, since I wasn’t hearing Spanish all the time.
However, because I challenged myself to take two classes in Spanish, I was able to still improve greatly. I became friends with quite a few local students and always insisted we talk in Spanish. They not only helped me improve my language skills and assisted me with clarifying things in class, they are also some of the friendliest people I have met and were a big part of my experience at UPF. This also allowed me to achieve my goal of making friends with local students as well.
After spending three months in Barcelona, I can proudly say that I did accomplish all of these goals. Even though some are more significant than others, each one means something to me and made my abroad experience special. I can’t believe that my time in Barcelona is over and that I’ve already been home for over two weeks. I am already getting excited for the next abroad experience I have, wherever and whenever that may be.