It was only about two weeks into my first semester abroad when my roommate Camille suggested we go to Barcelona, Spain, for a week together. I am often struck by indecision, and I am never the most spontaneous person in the room, but somehow, that day I said yes. I would love to go to Barcelona! It was the truth, but it was also a big decision, considering it was only a fortnight before that we had met.
I am pleased to report that the trip was a wonderful time. I owe part of this success to the city of Barcelona, with its jaw-dropping Gaudi architecture and its life-changing churros. (The dark chocolate ones are particularly divine.) Mostly, though, I have Camille to thank, who came up with a clever concept I won't soon forget, called Horizontal Time. Basically, she made it a rule that each day of our trip, we had to pause to put our feet up. This could involve going back to the hostel to nap, or it could just be a couple hours of quiet time on the beach. As long as our feet were off of the ground, we were good. The siesta system in Spain facilitates this practice very naturally, but of course, it can be applied in any country.
Horizontal Time worked wonders for our energy levels, allowing us to wake up early to get a head start on the crowds and to stay out late for all the salsa dancing and midnight feasting we could muster. It also improved our communication, because we had time to ourselves to evaluate our priorities and our intentions.
My reflections on this concept of Horizontal Time come at the perfect moment, as I prepare to go to Madrid in just four days. Again, the plans were made with my new friend Cloey about two weeks into the semester. I guess that's just the way it works while you're abroad; the friendships blossom quickly, as do the adventures. I've already been on day trips to London and Cambridge with Cloey, but five days in Madrid will be another level of adventuring together. Fortunately, our colleges are about half an hour apart, so we can extend the fun times together beyond this semester.
I have faith that our trip will be fabulous, because how could Madrid in March be anything but? I also know that our Horizontal Time will enhance the rest of our waking hours so we can fully enjoy the wandering and munching and chatting.
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<p>I'm a big fan of tea (matcha, rooibos, black...I love them all) so I'm looking forward to drinking my weight in tea while in London! I'll also be on the lookout for the best vegan spots in London; I've heard there are quite a few to choose from!</p>