Living in a different country. Waking up in a room that is not your own. Eating foods that are not typical to you. Roaming streets unknown to you. Learning a language that is alien to you. At first, when I'd think about all these things I'd get a wave of nervousness tremble through me. When I found out I got accepted in CIEE I was so excited to come to Barcelona, but the constant thought of messing up, of feeling homesick, of not being able to do it (live here) scared me. I thought that in a week I'd end up crying and missing home and in me there was this consistent doubt that I wouldn't be able to hand it. Yet in the end I'm glad I came here because I proved to myself that I can do this and sometimes proving yourself wrong is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Right since I met my host mother, she has been so nice to me. Always asking me a lot of questions about my interests. Making sure I like the food she cooks and taking me to cafes she thinks I will like. My favorite experience with her so far is riding on the back of her motorcycle because I have never ridden a motorcycle in the past and it has been one of the coolest things I've done here. I've learnt a lot from her and hope to do so more. She's given me great life advice and taught me that sometimes it's necessary to try different things if you want to make good memories. Following her advice has helped me a lot because it is true that it is necessary to take risks to make great memories. For example, in the recent trip to Costa Brava we went to the beach and I don't know how to swim, but in one day I went kayaking, paddle boarding, and I learnt to swim as well. After paddle boarding, some people from my group were running across some paddle boards strapped together in one line and jumping off. I decided to do the same as I thought the water wasn't so deep. So I jumped off and the water was so shallow and salty. Right after, an employee named Ari came to help me and when she was taking me back to the shore I stopped her and told her I wanted to learn how to swim and asked her if she could help me. She was an angel. She helped me so much and stayed with me the whole time. I was so scared, but she held my hand the entire time. Eventually, with her help I learned how to swim frontwards, backwards, and also dive into the water. Now, whenever I go swimming I'll always remember Barcelona, Ari, and how much she helped me. Even when I was leaving she gave me the biggest hug and I felt so happy because she was a stranger to me, but in the next minute she became such a good friend to me.
Barcelona has taught me a lot in a week. A lot of Spanish for sure, but also a lot of life lessons. To try. To not be afraid. To defeat your self doubt. The classes here are definitely different than back in my regular school as they consist of a lot of language use. You have to speak Spanish all the time and it's hard, but it's helpful as well. I've already gone shopping to a few stores here and when I'm able to talk to the employees in Spanish I feel so proud. For now, I can only hope that my Spanish gets better and maybe by the end I'll become fluent. ¡Hasta luego!