Starting Fresh in Barcelona

Jessica Nudelman
August 23, 2021

The time has finally come. In less than two weeks, I’ll finally be getting on a plane to Barcelona where I’ll be leaving everything and everyone behind for the rest of my life! Just kidding. But, it’s honestly so surreal to think about the fact that I AM flying there in only 10 days and this dream I’ve had for so long is actually coming true. I’ve dreamt of traveling since I was about 12, and I’ve dreamt about going abroad in college all throughout high school, so to say I’ve been wanting this for a while is probably an understatement. 

Unfortunately, there have been a few barriers when planning or even just thinking about studying abroad. The most obvious one has been the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic was such a wild experience in my personal life because on one hand, it did upend the experience of going abroad, and left me feeling like going abroad in college won’t be a reality. But, the pandemic also helped me prepare for this experience with the mindset I have today. I’m normally a very anxious person when it comes to big changes, like moving across the world, and that’s been another barrier when it comes to the abroad experience. But being that I had time during the pandemic to slow down, process through these certain anxieties, and almost recover from the weight of the world, I feel like I’m going into this experience with a much clearer headspace. 

So, with a week and a half left before the move, I can confidently say I am so excited to go abroad (and I can truthfully say this to friends and family without actually being a nervous wreck behind the scenes). The pandemic has left me restless, heightening my previous desire to travel to a whole new level. In the past few months, I’ve just craved that feeling of traveling to a new place, exploring, meeting new people, and having new experiences. It’s been great to feel this way, while also being present and enjoying my last summer at home. The past month has already been devoted to constant abroad prep: shopping for the right clothes, researching Barcelona, and just imagining all the ways this experience is going to change me. And I’ve been saying that even if nothing eventful happens (which I doubt), walking to class on the streets of Barcelona is already enough. 

In terms of goals, I have a few for this semester. One goal is to be immersed in the Spanish culture and lifestyle as much as possible. Another is to just be open to experiences and take them as they come so that I can honestly live these months to the fullest. And, I really just want to use this experience to grow into myself. Being completely away from home and all the people that know you gives you an opportunity to really learn and solidify who you are without other people’s expectations. And I think that’s a really liberating feeling. So, I’m excited to see where this experience leads me on a personal level as well, along with all the amazing things I know I’m going to learn about and see. 

So, that’s all for now and talk to you next time from Barcelona!

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Jessica Nudelman

<p>I am from Vernon Hills, Illinois and I study International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I'm studying abroad in Spain, which has been a dream of mine for years. I've always been fascinated with the culture and the language, and I'm really excited to experience it. I've gone through many hobbies in my life, but writing is probably my most consistent one! Recently, I've started writing for more websites online and my own writing platform.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2021 Fall
Home university:
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Hometown:
Vernon Hills, IL
Major:
International Studies
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