Last Updated on June 21, 2019 by Maiya Mindoro
How did I get here!? How could I possibly spent three months studying and living abroad in Barcelona, Spain? It has honestly flown by. Now that the month of April has come around, I am trying to live up my last month here in Spain. Not that I haven’t been enjoying my time here already, but I have gotten a little too comfortable, at least in the sense that I have a routine and stick to it a little too much. It doesn’t always feel like I’m living abroad. Though I am trying to be somewhat ~frugal~, a girl can only cook pasta and chicken in her apartment so many nights of the week. So in honor of my last month, I am going to live a little differently. Here’s how:
1. Look at things like it’s the last time I’ll see them.
In all honesty, some of the things I am looking at and experiencing right now in Spain will be the one and only time I see them. It has become normal for me to see stunning views and ancient architecture during my walk to school. When I return to the United States, that will not necessarily be the case. During my walks through Barcelona and my last few weekend trips, I will look at everything like it’s the last time in my life that I’ll ever see them. It’s not normal; it’s special and stunning. These sights need to be appreciated now, because I will one day crave to be living in those moments again.
Whenever I remember this fact, I always stop to take an extra moment to soak up the experience and remember where I am. Today when I walked through the El Born neighborhood, I remembered this. I felt nothing but happiness as I walked through the narrow streets filled with local shops and restaurants. The sun was shining just right, live music played, and kids were playing soccer in the street. To me, there was a little more warmth as I was making my way through town. Even if I do return one day, the moments will never be exactly the same as when I left.
2. Create a Barcelona bucket list.
I came into study abroad with a “Barcelona Bible.” This was a list of places I should visit and restaurants I should try in the city. I have casually crossed items off, and have also made my own discoveries. That being said, there are still things that I said I would get to that I haven’t yet. It’s now time to make sure I get to those things before I head back home.
To go along with my previous point, this could be the last time I have the opportunity to see or experience life here. So, while I’m living in Barcelona, I might as well see some of the best parts of it. On this list are things like the Magic Fountain Show, cable car rides, and Casa Milà. There’s no better time than now to check these items off of my bucket list and see some of Barcelona’s most special parts.
3. Plan activities between classes, and actually do them.
As good as naps between my classes sound (and are), that habit needs to be cut down this last month. There is so much to do in the city during the day — so many of the activities left on my list can only happen during the day. I’ll be able to sleep later in life, but I won’t ever be able to live in Barcelona when I’m in my twenties again. I have been making a conscious effort to not go right home after classes and to try new things. Going to places like a hammock smoothie bar or a restaurant with waffle sandwiches is much better than taking a nap. So instead of going through the same routine of class, nap, class, home, I will try to switch it up. There are lots of little things I can do, which will make all of my coming days better.
Above all, I want to get the most out of this experience. I want to know my time here was not wasted and that I am a better version of myself for doing this.
This post was contributed by Maiya Mindoro, who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Barcelona, Spain.