Taking a trip outside of Italy this weekend to Barcelona, Spain has shown me a different type of culture shock than what I experienced when arriving in Italy. The most notable difference was the language barrier. I have gotten so comfortable with ‘Ciao’ and ‘Grazie’ that having to change it even slightly to ‘Hola’ and ‘Gracias’ was difficult and a definite strange feeling. Throughout the weekend, I caught myself slipping out some Italian words more often than not.
Seeing the Sagrada Familia in person was an unforgettable experience. I knew I could not miss out on going inside of the Sagrada Familia while being in Barcelona, so I made sure to schedule a tour. Pictures truly do not do this church justice. It is absolutely breathtaking in person, I could have stayed in there all day looking up in admiration. Standing inside of the Basilica, I felt as if I was inside of a kaleidoscope. Every color you could ever imagine was inside of this beautiful building that takes up an entire block of Barcelona. The colors are so vibrant and saturated that the whole interior of the building is lit up with reflections from the stained glass windows. The craziest part is, this basilica is not finished yet! I can only imagine how beautiful it will be once it is completed.
This past weekend has taught me a lot about myself. Specifically about my morals and who I am as a person. I have learned how much I truly care about people and their well-being. A friend that I had recently met had disappeared after a night out and I knew in my gut that something was not right. I could not just sit there and tell myself everything was okay, because it so clearly was not. I knew he had not just gone home: something had happened and none of us knew what it was at the time. It didn’t matter to me that I had just met this person a day ago; if something bad happened, I couldn’t live with myself knowing I just went to sleep and did nothing to ensure he was safe. Thankfully, at the end of the weekend, this friend returned and everything turned out okay. I have learned that in situations like the one I was in over the weekend, you need to take initiative and fight for what you believe is right.
On top of learning more about myself, I have learned to accept when things don’t go as planned. You can either let your mind stress yourself out about the situation you are in or you can sit back, take a deep breath, and figure out plan B. At the end of the day, things will work out and it is not worth going into panic mode when that will only make things even more difficult to figure out if you aren’t thinking completely straight.
Barcelona is like no other city I have ever been to. It is a combination of a beach town, a modern city, amazing architecture, and historical buildings. Sitting back reflecting on this beautiful place I realize how different Barcelona is from Florence. Although I loved visiting Barcelona and had a great time meeting up with some friends, leaving Florence showed me how comfortable, safe, and at home I feel in Italy. By the end of the weekend, I was happy to return to my cozy apartment in the center of Florence.
Ciao for now,