Aquí y Allí

Jackson Berkley
April 17, 2013

A little travel video with footage compiled from Barcelona and the surrounding region, the island of Lanzarote, and the province of Turine in Italy.

Approaching the end of my time here in Barcelona, it crossed my mind to make a sort of “Barcelona Bucket List” — to enumerate all the places I still need to visit, food I need to try, things I need to do.  Another day at Montserrat, the rest of Museu Picasso, the Cervantes Rose Garden, more paella.  I recounted this list in my head constantly, and with every wistful, nostalgic conversation, I kept adding to it.

Before I ever got the chance to put pen to paper, I was reminded of an old Simpsons episode, the one where Homer eats the fugu and thinks he’s poisoned, so he makes a big list of all the things he wants to do before he dies but messes most of them up, and finds himself in bed with Marge regardless, and it’s all okay.  That episode has been my favorite for a while.  The Simpsons is as big an influence on my life as watching the sunrise of Parc Güell or eating my mom’s pizza on the screen porch or shooting hoops alone at Uncle Doc’s when I was thirteen.  Knowledge and wisdom is relative to experience and action, not expectation.  I put the pen down.

Learning from Barcelona was just as much a product a classroom as the streets — my favorite moments involved a bit of both, meeting by the beach for a coffee with Sasa, my film professor at UPF, and talking for hours about cinema, and consequently, about life in general.  Having a mock debate in Spanish class, then grabbing a kebab with Alec, Brooks, and Milana — “muy picante” — listening to records with Hillary at Paradiso in Raval and realizing its already time a cenar.

I’m anticipating a lot of “How was Spain?” upon my return.  Naturally, I’ll respond with “Great!” or if I’m feeling particularly enthused, “Amazing!”  Because that’s really all people need to hear.  The nitty gritty details are best kept inside, or perhaps reserved for the kind of intense, passionate, introspective late-night conversation that we all treasure so dearly, and hoped to find in the corner of every dusky bar or restaurant we’ve ever been to.  The kind we expect to accompany every portentous moment of our lives, but rarely does.

I’ve accepted that there’s a lot of things I won’t be able to do, people to meet, etc.  That’s what makes life so exciting — that’s why people travel, because they believe there’s always more to explore.  Usually there is.  When I boarded the plane to Barcelona in January, I didn’t know what to expect.  It was for the best, I think.

Oh, and I made it to the Cervantes Rose Garden.  The roses weren’t quite in bloom yet, but the pictures are alright. 


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Jackson Berkley

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! I&rsquo;m a third year English major and film enthusiast at the University of Virginia. I grew up in Great Falls, VA &ndash; a suburb a few miles outside Washington, D.C. &ndash; but have always wanted the chance to explore a city like Barcelona independently. In recent years I&rsquo;ve travelled through many cities in Western Europe &ndash; including Berlin and Prague &ndash; and I spent three weeks this past summer visiting my sister in Kuanton, Malaysia, where she was teaching English at a state school. The blog she kept up during her time in Kuanton inspired me to blog for IES. I hope you enjoy my musings!</span></p>

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