Embarcar: to embark; verb em·bark \im-ˈbärk\
To begin a journey
Today's the day. After watching friends embark on their study abroad semesters in London, Florence, Prague, Copenhagen, Paris, Chile, Madrid, Sevilla, Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam - you name it - it's finally time for me to embark on my adventure. For the next four months, I will be living in Barcelona where I will learn, eat, drink, absorb and relish in the Spanish and Catalan cultures. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Absolutely. I know this is going to be the adventure of a lifetime.
Why Barcelona? (Well first of all, why not Barcelona?) I've been studying Spanish for a very long time now and I genuinely enjoy speaking, writing, and listening to the language and learning about the culture. After (barely) surviving SPN121 this semester (s/o to Enrique), I believe that I am ready to live in Spain for a semester. While I am very comfortable in my written and comprehension skills, my goal is to become a more confident speaker. Since all of my classes will be in Spanish and since I'll be living with a host family, I have a feeling I'll be able to get there in no time. Barcelona is the ultimate hub of art and culture -- La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell just to name a couple examples -- and plus, it's right on the beach!
Packing for abroad is difficult, especially if you're me and you have never in your entire life traveled lightly. (Considering I carry 2-3 bags daily to class or an internship, I knew this wasn't going to be an easy feat). From January to June the temperatures in Barcelona fluctuate from 45-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Fun Fact: When I land tomorrow morning, it will be 66 degrees Fahrenheit, which I'm sure will be a very welcome change after this past Saturday's snowstorm that dumped 30 inches of snow in New Providence (Thank you, Jonas). After 3 days of packing, I've managed to fit 3 seasons of clothing + shoes + toiletries + one jar of peanut butter into 2 checked bags, one carry-on, and a backpack. Cross your fingers that everything makes it there!
And now for the thanks you's. Thank you to my friends and family for supporting, loving, and believing in me. Thank you for the numerous bits of guidance, advice, and well wishes that have poured in all over the country from both Tufts and home friends as well as my family. Thank you to anyone who's ever motivated me through a Spanish course (esp. freshman year when my professor called my Keith for the entire semester). Y muchísimos gracias a mi familia. Mom, Dad, and Tim - I don't know what I'd do without you and I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you for everything. You guys are the best. I love you!
Stay tuned for weekly updates featuring blog posts, photos and video! Can't wait to share the adventure with you all.
For those of you who wish to contact me while I'm in Spain, these are the best ways:
- WhatsApp / Viber
- Skype / Facetime
- Phone -- I'll be getting a SIM card to put in my US phone so if you get a text/call from a random Euro number, it's probably me!
- The Program: CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Barcelona
- The University: Universitat de Barcelona
- Address: TBD
- Living Arrangements: Home Stay (Mom, Dad, 20 yr old daughter, 18 yr old son currently studying in London)
¡Vamos a Barca! ¡Comienza la aventura!
Embarca a Barca.