Admiring the beautiful views of Costa Brava.

Some days I really don’t feel like getting out of bed.

Some days I don’t think I’m doing enough.

Some days I feel like I don’t know enough.

Some days I feel like I’m not strong enough.

Some days I feel like I’m not pretty enough,

I’m not smart enough, I’m not thin enough.

I’m not doing enough.

And on those days, I get myself out of bed,

look myself in the mirror, and remind myself

someday isn’t today, and that’s not the person I want to be.

I want to be a badass.

I define me. You define you. 


This picture was taken at the first stop of our excursion.

Costa Brava was a visit of a lifetime. The change of scenery was refreshing and soothing. As a city girl, the change of pace was a reminder to stop worrying so much about time and enjoy life. People are so caught up in their life, trying to accomplish long-term goals, that we forget to take a breather. Costa Brava was a trip that has made me feel present for the first time, in a while.

I never realized how anxious living in a city truly makes me feel. As much as I enjoy living in a fast paced environment, I’ve also come to a realization that it’s not the healthiest way of living either. I like direction, and being shown how to get somewhere. I still, yet, have to go for a run in Barcelona by myself. However, the idea of getting lost triggers my anxiety. In my life, I like to feel very in control, and when I get lost, that sense of control diminishes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This excursion taught me to let loose, and that it’s okay to not always have everything figured out. I can’t always be in control of what happens in my life, what people perceive me as and I’m definitely not in control of the amount of hours in the day. A healthy life starts with a healthy state of mind. From this excursion and program, thus far, I know I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for. I’m fully capable of disconnecting  from the social media world. I feel like social media is a way of feeding our egos, and that is something I don’t ever want to do. This program isn’t something I want to flaunt, but I want people to acknowledge the hard work I’ve put into getting to where I am. Also, I’m fully capable of building relationships outside of my friend group. I’m very selective when it comes to who I open up to and who I let into my life, and being comfortable around the group of people I’m lucky enough to share this experience with is a blessing.

The UIC crew after our adventure on the sailboat.


The more I discover about the lifestyle that Catolonians live and follow the more influenced I get. Their way of living is more relaxed, healthy, diverse, cultured, and peaceful. This is a lifestyle I yearn to live upon my arrival back home, in Chicago.

Every moment in this program, there is a situation which is new and pushes the boundaries of my comfort zone. Since I’ve been away from home, that alone has been stressful, but I’ve learned to deal with stress with a clearer head and in a new, much more interesting context.

Self-management is probably the most valuable and far-reaching skill and is indispensable in anything I do. Knowing myself involves assessing my knowledge and skills accurately, setting specific, realistic goals, and monitoring my own progress towards these goals. When I know myself, all the skills I’ve demonstrated from this trip become much easier to practice.

So, I woke up on the day of this excursion feeling like I am enough, strong enough, and smart enough to make the

I can officially cross steering a boat off my bucket list.

most of this experience, and I went to bed feeling like the badass I know I am.


These homes belong to some of the fishermen, in the Costa Brava area.