Adapting to the Barcelona Lifestyle

In Spain by Eller Student

Paige Corley, Political Science ’16

Bellaterra Train Stop

Bellaterra Train Stop

When I arrived in Barcelona almost two weeks ago, my anxiety skyrocketed. My mind was racing as I got off the airplane with every question possible. I kept asking myself, “what were you thinking, spending 8 weeks in a foreign country halfway across the world?!” It’s something I never thought I would do. However, once I unpacked, settled in, and explored, I quickly learned that Barcelona is so unique and I fell in love instantly.

The lifestyle and culture of Barcelona is varies from that of the United States. In the US, I feel as though I’m constantly going and being late is never an option. Life here is slower; there’s no rush to get from point A to point B. Nothing is to-go. Additionally, there is a two-hour break during the day called siesta. It’s a time to eat, relax, nap, and catch up with your friends during the middle of the workday. It’s really delightful. The culture here is about enjoying yourself and each day. Overall, the biggest culture shock for me was the use of public transportation; metros, trains, and buses are the most common and easiest way to navigate the city. I find it bizarre that your commute is based off of a train time, not your own schedule. Being from Arizona, public transportation is an extremely foreign concept so I’m still familiarizing myself with it. I know that over the next 6 weeks I will master public transportation!