One of my biggest fears while embarking on my journey abroad was the language barrier that I would be facing. Although I had taken Spanish before in high school, I was not confident whatsoever in my Spanish speaking skills or even comprehension. I had taken about three years of Spanish but nevertheless was placed in Spanish One after taking the placement test and failing it misreably. I felt as if I would be disrespecting the people of Spain if I opened my mouth with broken Spanish, but to my surprise, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The people of Spain couldn’t be more welcoming. From the second I touched down, I was greeted by Barcelona natives that were mroe than eager to help me find the best mode of transportation. I was unsure how equipped I would be in taking the public transportation here, but was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is. Even on my way from the airport to my apartment, I found myself getting confused. I would simply ask the train staff as well as police officers where I should go and each time they were more than happy to help me.
Now, I am more confident than ever in my Spanish and my travels. Although I still have trouble saying certain words, and give the classic “¿como se dice?” every so often, and get on the occasional wrong train, I couldn’t feel more comfortable.
Not only have I noticed this warmth in Spain, but I have also noticed it in my travel abroad. Throughout my travels around Europe I have realized that a smile and some hand gestures can get you a long way (and the occasional Google translate). My travels to Austria, Hungary, Italy, and France have been nothing but incredible and eye-opening.
Something that I can always bank on having in common with those that come from a different country than me is my love and passion for food. Everywhere I go, I make it a point to ask a friendly waiter or anyone we meet along the way what their favorite dish is. When traveling I think it is extfremely impirtant to learn what the delicacy is of each place that I visited.
Of course, Barcelona would have to be tapas, and based off of my last blog post, I'm sure you can tell how I feel about those. Next up was Vienna, where the delicacy is Schnitzel. The first thing I grabbed when I touched down was a street vendor's schnitzel which was mouth-wateringly delightful. The vendor was even as kind as to give us a free bratwurst, just proving how generous people can be aborad. Next up was France, where I was informed that I needed to try a crêpe and a croissant. Both dishes were melt in your mouth to die for flavors. Lastly, I was informed that I had to have pizza and pasta while in Sicily. Our waiter was so intrigued by our excitement that he gave us taste test of almost every pizza on the menu!
Although my travels around the world have been nothing but exceptional, my stay in Barcelona has been my favorite thus far. The people, the culture, and the food have been so inviting.
I can't wait to see what the rest of my journey has in store for me.
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<p>Noa Solomon is an avid sports enthusiast, foodie and animal lover. She studies at the University of Wisconsin as a Journalism major where she excersises her passion for writing, as well as double minoring in sports communication and special education. She was born and raised a city girl, coming from the big apple itself, Manhattan, New York. She studied at the Professional Performing Arts School in Times Square as a drama major for 7 years and continues to participate in acting as much as she can. She was just featured in the 90s teen comedy film Generation Wrecks as Brittney Pratt this past September.</p>