Tomorrow night at this time, I will be aboard a plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean for only the second time in my entire life. The first time was about 11 years ago. When I was 13, I went on a tour of Ireland with my mom, my aunt, and some family friends. I saw a lot of the country, though I missed out on a lot – specifically, the Guinness, the Jameson, the Baileys – because of my age.
I intended to study abroad in college, but I didn’t. I deeply wish I had. I would have matured a lot faster had I stepped out of the comfort bubble of Syracuse and the relationship I was in at the time. Even if I had only gone to London – where I would have had many friends and known the language – I would have at least gotten to take weekend jaunts around Europe.
Here I am, almost 25 years old, and I have never been to a country where I don’t speak the language. (I know a little Spanish, but I’m rusty, and people in Barcelona speak Catalan anyway.) Honestly, I’m kind of terrified. I’m nervous about communicating. I’m nervous about finding my way around. (These addresses don’t make sense!) I’m nervous about having to use a loaner flip phone that’s not internet-enabled, because what if I need to look something up?
Luckily, I won’t be alone – another girl from my department is flying in early, and we’re meeting each other at the airport/sharing a hotel room/touring the city together. However, I haven’t even had time to decide what I want to do when I get there, because I’ve been too busy wrapping up work and taking care of the bajillion things you need to handle before you go abroad. (Got loaner phone, called bank, arranged for a cat-sitter, purchased plug adapters, copied my passport, etc. I can’t imagine how it would have been to move there for a semester!)
I will have plenty of time to read my Fodor’s Guide to Barcelona once I finally vacate my apartment tomorrow. I have the two-hour town-car ride (VIP!) to Newark, then the endless waiting at the airport, where I will read as I down red wine in an attempt to sleep through my flight and be ready for a full day in Barcelona when I land. (Or, I will start my trip exhausted and hungover. One of the two. It’s an experiment.)
No voy a escribir mas ahora. Voy a descansar. Hasta la vista.
Note: I doubt I will post from Barcelona, though I will have a computer and internet access. Don’t expect an update until after my return on June 5.