Chapter 4: confidently lost

song: live like there’s no tomorrow

Hello wonderful people! I am writing to you from a place of peace and sending you waves of positive energy. Do you know how people say studying abroad will change you? Well, when I first heard that, I failed to realize that studying abroad can only change you if you want to change. That transformation is completely up to the traveler, which is a freeing yet intimidating statement. 

On my first day of school, I noticed that plenty of my fellow students were planning to travel outside of Barcelona every single weekend and try something new every other night. So I thought that I should try that schedule since I assumed that was the norm. Let me tell ya, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust that schedule to fit me. At first, it sounds easy to take a break…but if you’re anything like me, you feel like you’ll miss out if you don’t explore at every possible moment. But my wise Travel Writing professor advised against traveling far every weekend. So my friends and I decided to visit a nearby beach. Sounds simple enough, right? While it was supposed to be simple, we kept missing our buses and trains until we almost gave up. But instead of focusing on the negative, we remembered to appreciate the sunny weather and what was around us. Eventually, we arrived at the beach, collected pretty rocks, attempted to build sandcastles, and swam in the crystal blue waters.

Random fact: On Sundays, the trains in Barcelona are slower. Some only leave every hour. We were not aware of this on Sunday night around 7:30 pm about an hour away from the train station when the next train station was scheduled to leave at 8:15 pm. If we missed the 8:15 pm, we would have to leave around 9:30 pm and get home at around 11 pm. Naturally, we wanted to be home before then so we had to RUN downhill (then uphill then downhill then uphill) to make it to the station in time. 

Hey Siri, play “Live Like There’s No Tomorrow” by Selena Gomez

So there we were, a tired gaggle of friends laughing and sprinting through a quiet neighboorhood as the sun set. We barely made it to the station, panting and sweating then BAM – our metro tickets didn’t work. Our train rolled into the station and we all frantically ran to the machines to buy new tickets. It was 8:14 pm. There were five of us and three machines so we started yelling – 

“Someone buy three!”

“This machine’s not working”

“Who’s gonna buy three?”

“I’ve got it!”

“Here take this one!”

“GO go go!”

Everyone got their tickets and we rushed through the train doors in a frenzy. Whew, that was a lot – and whew, I love my friends.

tip of the week: Don’t compare your limits to those of others!

Published by Ayanna Bailey

Class of 2023 Psychology Major, Neuroscience Minor IES Barcelona, Spain

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