In the beginning of April, my grandmother died. It was a complete shock to me and the rest of my family. When she went to the hospital, I flew home for almost two weeks to be with her and my family. When I was home, I missed two trips that I had planned when I was in Barca, a trip to Budapest and a trip to Mallorca. Whilst I’m sure those trips would have been fun, I needed to be home with my family, and I’m glad I was in England to support everyone.
After my grandmother passed away, I was in a state of limbo. I didn’t know how I should feel, what I should do, or how I should act. I didn’t know if going back to Barcelona was the right thing to do, or if it was the correct way of acting for someone who was grieving. My friend Elli was meant to be visiting me in Barcelona from the 11th-15th of April, and then I had booked my flight home for Easter. Whilst I was home, I considered just staying in England for the Easter holidays, and going back to Barca in late April.
One thing about my grandmother that you should know, is that she had always grabbed life by the horns. 15 years ago she was ill and was given months to live, but fought against the doctor’s diagnosis and lived for 15 more years, seeing the birth of three more grandchildren, and the achievements of the other four. She was incredibly proud of me for what I had achieved in life, especially deciding to live in another country for my year abroad. Contemplating this led me to decide to fly back to Barcelona for a few days, not only so that I could bring some more clothes home for Easter, but also to take life by the horns.
When my friend arrived, we spent the first day on the beach, enjoying the gorgeous weather that Barcelona has to offer. I decided that instead of showing her the cool places I had discovered in Barcelona, I would only go to new places that I hadn’t been to before. As a result of this I found so many new places to eat and drink that were simply incredible.
For example, I am almost 8 months into my year abroad placement in Barca, and I hadn’t been to a rooftop bar! We went to a different one every day, sipping aperol spritz’ and gin and tonics.
I decided against using google maps for most of the weekend, so we spent an afternoon getting lost down the winding streets of the gothic quarter, browsing round the beautiful independent stores and spending far too much money.
My friend is gluten free, so we explored the amazing ‘sin gluten’ restaurants and bakeries that Barcelona has to offer. I can confirm that a hot GF brownie and ice cream is just as good as a regular one.
We also went to all the popular tourist spots like the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and a few of the houses that Gaudi designed, so we got a good glimpse at the rich culture of Barcelona.
I enjoyed my weekend so much and it reminded me of how grateful I am to be on my year abroad, and how lucky I am to be able to immerse myself in such a beautiful culture. In life, we are constantly worrying how much money we’re spending, and how stressed we are at work, or how much we weigh, or how we look. It is important to remember that life is short. It is important to stop. Breathe. Look around at the beauty that life has to offer you, and grasp it firmly by the horns.