I didn’t realize how much I miss my family, friends, and Chicago, until I’ve actually flown the nest. I don’t just miss the good laughs, spontaneous adventures, and late night outs, but I miss the feeling of experiencing life with them. I wish you were here to experience this amazing culture with me, but, also to see how different it is from Chicago. I wish you were here to see how happy and alive I feel in Barcelona. You’re not here with me, but I will explain to you what I’ve seen, felt, and lived so far in Barca, so you feel like you are present.
First, I’m not surrounded by tall buildings in Barcelona, like I was in Chicago. I feel a little out of touch with reality, because tall buildings put me in a happy state of mind. However, I am encircled in a mass amount of culture, history and so many breath taking views that opens my mind to perception. I’ve been on a tour around part of Barcelona, visited an art museum and went on a wine and olive oil excursion that taught me so much history.
Next, I get stared at a lot for taking selfies. For those who really know me, know I don’t do well with taking selfies, let alone feeling like a tourist. There’s something about traveling and constantly taking pictures that makes me feel like I’m defeating the purpose of traveling. I like to enjoy, admire and reflect when I travel. I like to feel and become part of a culture and city. In Barcelona, they don’t really like us, here. Locals don’t like to make eye contact, smile without a purpose, and they stare at tourists, back home we call that staring problem, but here they call it, being curious. I’m someone who smiles at people all the time, so I’ve tried to get accustomed to holding back smiles. Since we come from a city that welcomes tourists, and we greet people to be friendly, I’m not use to this type of ambiance.
I wish you were here to experience these late sunsets with me. My days start very early for me, but for locals, their days start later. I wish you were here to experience and feel the numbness in my feet, from all the walking I’ve done in this active city. In Barcelona, everyone walks, or rides their bike. In Chicago, I was all for riding my bike everywhere, and I have yet, to be that fearless person cruising the streets past these crazy drivers, just like back home.
I wish you were here to see Antoni Gaudi’s stunning architecture all over Spain. He is someone who played a major part in the Art Nouveau movement, so trust me, his work is something you wouldn’t want to miss. I really wish you were here to experience large crowds, because Las Ramblas is the place to be for that.It’s one of Spain’s most famous streets that consists of five boulevards.
Mom, dad, siblings, friends, Manny, I wish you were here, but that is why I’m here, for you. I will love a little more, live a little harder, and immerse myself to the fullest. I will continue to make friends and build relationships, so that one day you can meet them. I will see places for you and I will experience this culture, so I can go back home, and tell you all about it, when I am with you.