This post marks my last weekend in Barcelona, my last blog post while I can say that I am studying abroad, and the last moments where I can experience and not just reflect. As of Thursday I am boarding a flight headed towards JFK and I cannot even begin to grapple with how quickly this semester has flown by. There isn't a single bone in my body that is ready to part with this city, and I'm also really unsure of what I'm going to encounter when I return home.
Every trip back home is normally the same, nothing every changes. This time however, there has been one large shift: I have changed. Yes, some of it is external. I dress slightly differently, my skin has seen more sun than normal, and I am in desperate need of a haircut; however, it extends much further than what people are able to see when they look at me. The changes are internal, and operate how I have lived every day of the past four months.
Most importantly, however, is the milestone that I have now completed: studying abroad. Study abroad, especially at a school like GW, is a right of passage through your four years at school. It was something I constantly looked forward to, and I noticed how empty campus seems at times when you return back after winter break and a large portion of that year's junior class is missing. This semester, I was part of that missing class. I not only embarked on a journey that led me to IES in Barcelona, Spain, but I have now finished taking my finals and am left with making sure my bags are under 51 pounds and remembering to print out my boarding pass.
I've promised myself that I'm making one more trip to La Boqueria, having one more dinner at my favorite restaurant around the corner from my apartment, and the most important thing, making a pact with my close knit group of friends I've formed here, that we will all be back in Barcelona, together, in the near future. The idea of putting this experience behind me is terrifying and I'm nearly ready to give it up, but I am ready to relinquish this power, the power of experiencing an alternative way of life at the age of 20/21, to another group of students.
Barcelona has stolen my heart, and I am positive that I will be back; however, it will never again be in the context of studying abroad. As of my final post next week, studying abroad, will have turned into studied abroad...it's crazy how much meaning the change in tense evokes.
Hasta luego Barcelona