One month ago I landed at the Barcelona airport and started my adventure abroad. I was all alone, trying to refresh my school-spanish and move around here. One month passed and since that time I have discovered a lot of new stuff and learned more about the spanish (& catalán) people. When you enter a new country, the first month can count a lot. You will get your first impression, first opinion and a lot of question will be answered: How do I feel here? Do I understand the people? Do I like their sense of humor or their attitude? How is the food? (Why don’t you have good bread ??) Can I imagine staying here for longer?
I proudly present: 7 Things I have learned about Barcelona so far
1. You are not really abroad
Maybe you think: “I am going abroad. Unfortunately I won’t be able to see or talk to my friends or family that often.” Well, reality looks like this: You are going to message your friends every day in Whatsapp, call your parents with Skype and communicate with all your mates in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. See, being abroad doesn’t mean cut contact with everybody. Thanks to the internet, it can feel like actually being at home.
2. There are tourists everywhere
Especially in summertime. Especially in Barceloneta. Can get on my fucking nerves…but can also be fun (sometimes), you meet a lot of people and with some of them you can even meet up in your country again!
3. Everybody speaks english
Barcelona is full of young, motivated & very international people. Here you can get to know people from all over the world. They all speak english, so it is easy to communicate and have fun. Unfortunately everyone is staying here for just a special period of time and it is hard to make friends for longer.
4. Nobody speaks english
Even though Barcelona is a tourist-magnet, the spanish people don‘t care. Most of them don’t speak a word english while selling food, postcards or clothes in the city center. Especially the bus drivers are very “non english”. They won‘t understand you and even if they do, they will pretend not to)
5. Barcelona is actually not that big
For the last 2 weeks I don’t even need a metro or bus ticket because you can go everywhere by foot. You just need to know how to go best and you will discover how to cross whole Barcelona in only 1 hour (Park Güell-Barceloneta 45 mi / Barceloneta – city center: 20 min / barceloneta – Beach: > 1 min )
6. Even Spain can be cold
The last week was really cold. My spanish friend told me that this is the first August after ages being so cold and windy. Yes, sometimes I am thinking of buying a cuddly cardigan or a scarf in order to stay fit.
7. Buy a city-guide & book a sightseeing-tour
I know what you think: “A city.guide, soooo old school.” Yeah, that was also my opinion by with the time I more and more realized that I fucking need some. I tried to get to know some sightseeing through the internet and by asking my mates. But it takes time to research & organize everything. One look at the city-guide and everything is clear: Where it is, How to go there, Historical backgrounds, Some insider secrets, What other spots are around etc etc. It is much easier just taking a look in the book instead of researching everything at the internet. You‘ll save time, nerves and your laptop/mobile phone battery.
Extra (8). Make friends
Every trip you are doing on your own is good for you. Discovering yourself is important and you will definitively benefit out of it. But you need some people around you. You can only enjoy your stay in a different country while meeting new people, partying all night, talking for hours about god and the world or just sharing your breakfast with your roommate. Make friends and have fun.