Hitting the halfway point

Sonal Gupta
June 29, 2016

English: I’ve been living in Barcelona for a month…?!?!?! Not sure how the first half of my time here is already over – in some ways it feels like I’ve been here forever and in others it feels like I’m just getting started. One of my goals when I left for Barcelona was to truly live in the moment – I know that sounds cliché, but this past school year I constantly felt like I was running out of my time. Being half way done with college really hit me and realizing how fast time really does go by was a huge reality check. So I came here determined not to worry about where the time goes, which I can happily report I feel like I’ve been doing. Having been here for a month now, I’m in the routine of going to work, traveling on the weekends, exploring the city whenever I can and checking things off my list of need-to-dos. Last night we went out for gelato after a long Monday, and we all realized how comfortable and at home we feel here – after a hectic weekend of traveling, coming back to the apartment and following the daily routine here is comforting and normal for us. I have to say, last week I started to get a little homesick starting to miss family and friends, and although in the moment I hated not having the ability to drive home for the day or have a movie night with my best friends (like I do at school), I know that’s a growing experience and I can feel myself becoming a lot more independent because of these experiences.

Everyone one I talked to before coming here told me that being abroad would be life-changing, eye-opening, overwhelming. As I reflect on the past month of being here, I can attest to each one of those things. I’ve already felt a new perspective that has come naturally from being surrounded by a different culture and lifestyle than I’m used to. I have definitely learned to be more patient and overall relaxed – granted I’m only working here as an intern for two months, but I’ve never felt stressed in my work environment or in any other aspects of being here. It’s been a relaxing routine and I’ve come to appreciate “Spanish time” (although I have a lot of practice having experienced Indian time as well). Walking down the streets, in class and at work I have rarely seen people rushing to get somewhere or stressed about time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it drives me crazy because of my natural fast pace, but it’s been an interesting adjustment and has opened me up to this different lifestyle.

Español: He estado en Barcelona por un mes….?!?! No creo que sea posible. El medio de mi tiempo aquí está terminado – ¡es loco! En unos sentidos me parece que hacía solamente dos semanas que llegué, y en otros me parece que he sido viviendo aquí por mucho más tiempo de un mes. Una de mis metas cuando llegaba a Barcelona era que siempre vivir en el momento y no preocuparme del tiempo limitado. Este año de escuela, me sentaba como no tenía bastante tiempo, y no quería sentir como eso cuando estoy aquí. Estando terminado con medio de mis años en la universidad me hace darme cuenta que esto es la vida y no debo preocuparme de salvando tiempo – es mejor que solo vivir de tu mejor habilidad y siempre disfrutar los momentos especiales. Ahora tengo una rutina de yendo al trabajo, viajando durante los fines de semana, y explorando a través de la ciudad después del trabajo cada día. Al lunes pasado, tomamos gelato y caminábamos desde la área de nuestro apartamento, y se sentíamos muy cómodo y familiar al volver de un viaje del fin de semana. Era un sentimiento interesante porque, aunque solamente hace un mes que estamos viviendo aquí, ya se sentamos como un hogar y un lugar relajado y familiar. La última semana, me sentaba un poco morriña a causa de les extraño mi familia y mis amigos. En ese momento el hecho que me falta la habilidad de tener una noche de películas con mis amigas mejores o de ir a casa por un día me sentaba muy mal, pero ahora me doy cuento que todavía estoy creciendo por estas experiencias y estos casos en que no tengo comodidades normales.

Todas las personas con que hablaba antes de salir para Barcelona me decían que la experiencia será un cambio de vida y una vista nueva totalmente, y también un poco arrolladora, y ahora puedo decir que todas estas personas son correctas en maneras diferentes. Como reflejo al mes pasado, ya he experimentado una vista nueva y un estilo de vida diferente, y ya he aprendido ser más paciente y relajada en general, y empiezo a apreciar “tiempo española” (aunque ya conozco este caso a causa de “tiempo indio”). Casi nunca veo personas que tienen mucho prisa o que se parecen estresados – es muy interesante para mi ver esto y tener que ajustar a esto.  

Lesson #4 (to make up for last week): In Spain, they abbreviate lots of phrases just like we do. For instance, instead of saying “Buenos días” for good morning, very often they will simply say “Buenos.”

Lesson #5:  There are also a lot of colloquial/slang terms that they use, which has been the hardest for me when trying to communicate with locals in Spanish. One that we all love is “Qué guay,” which means “how cool!” 

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Sonal Gupta

<p>Travel enthusiast, creative thinker, and lover of all people and food. I&#39;m a hard working business student, environmental supporter, and music lover looking to creative positive change for the world. Sharing my experiences through an 8-week journey in Barcelona, Spain through IES Abroad as I work for an innovative, socially impactful startup, take classes, learn the dialect, and immerse myself in the Spanish culture.</p>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
Home University:
Ohio State University, The
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