This past Sunday, I spent the entire day roaming the streets of Barcelona alone, exploring what has become one of my favorite places in the world. Maybe it was the sunny, warm weather, or the indescribable gelato that brightened my spirits, but this day was an amazing reflection as to why I chose to come to Barcelona and why I am so glad that I did.
Once upon a time a young Jessica, probably around 8 or 9 years old, discovered her new favorite movie: The Cheetah Girls 2 (for those who don’t know, this sequel sees the pop singing girl group travel to the city of Barcelona to compete in an international music festival). She was dazzled by the beauty and magic of the city, as her then idols strolled around the gothic quarter, singing about their dreams and their passions, all with a radiant confidence. It was from that moment on that she began to fall in love with Barcelona.
Although every day here has been a dream, this past weekend was a reminder of that mystical beauty that had first drawn me to the city of Gaudí. My Latin American literature teacher had assigned us the task of visiting a wide variety of different sites throughout the city that had been important to the Latin American literary boom, of which Barcelona played an influential part in. I found myself strolling through the heart of Barcelona, from the wide and densely packed Ramblas to tiny gothic streets with cute shops and stands that have existed for hundreds of years. There’s a certain vibe about Barcelona that I find hard to put into words, but it’s really the heart of what makes you fall in love with this city. It’s how the Gothicism and the Modernism blend so deeply into the modern day, meaning each step in Barcelona could be one into a rich past or a step into the bright, imaginative future. It’s the nature of Barcelona as a city that follows its own beat, full of nontraditional cultures and customs, where interesting people of all kinds are accepted and celebrated for their uniqueness. Barcelona is by no means an average city, because it is eclectic and strange in the most beautiful and interesting way.
And so, as I sat in a tiny plaza eating some delicious pistachio gelato, surrounded by a lively assortment of Barcelona residents, I reflected on my decision to travel across the world and live in this city. While it may have been difficult at times, I can honestly say that Barcelona has captured my heart and soul and that I have nothing but a deep love and appreciation for my newfound home.
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<p>I am a young Latina student who is passionate about travel, community empowerment, and celebration of diversity. I am the only daughter of Mexican immigrants and my life has been a colorful blending of Mexican and American cultures that has created a passion for the exploration of diverse cultures through travel. In all that I do, I try to learn about and immerse myself in worlds and communities unlike my own, because with each experience I grow as a conscious global citizen and will be able create bridges that can bring about positive social change in communities throughout the world.</p>