January 6th, 2019, the day I’ve been excitedly (and anxiously) waiting for to start my four-and-a-half month study abroad experience. I cannot believe how quickly this date came, and how short the holiday season felt at home, but I am filled with excitement as I sit here writing from the airport, ready to embark on my first flight (of many to come) this year!
Personally, the last few days have definitely been stressful, emotional and jam-packed with activities before I leave. From packing up everything I need for the next couple months (and things I want, as I know no one ‘needs’ 11 pairs of shoes), to shopping for last-minute necessities and finding time in-between to say goodbye to my family, friends and two dogs, it has been pretty hectic. One of the hardest parts for me before leaving was packing and choosing exactly I needed/would really use throughout the next few months. Yes, I may have overpacked shoes, but other than that, all throughout the packing process I was constantly taking things out of my suitcases and reconsidering items/clothing pieces I initially packed. Despite my tendencies to overpack, the Barcelona weather made my experience a little easier; considering it’s much nicer than midwest weather at this time of year, I didn’t have to worry about packing many heavy sweaters, snow boots or parkas, and instead focused on spring-oriented apparel, which allowed me to bring much more. The problem with Barcelona weather though, is it is very different from other European countries I want to visit throughout my experience too. This being said, in order to be well-equipped in places such as Copenhagen and Prague, which I am dying to visit both, I brought a puffer jacket and a few thick sweaters to avoid needing to buy a completely new winter wardrobe and take these pieces home in the spring when I return. Some students may say two suitcases is “too much” and “you can fit everything you need in one,” but if you are anything like me in terms of shopping and style, you may just need two to bring your necessities and avoid buying a new suitcase abroad!
In terms of how I feel going into my new program, housing situation and attending my classes, there are some details I’m still a little unclear about. I’m not too worried, especially since I’ll find out most of these details in a few short hours, though I think I would have felt a little more assured if I received a little more information from my program before leaving. For now, even though I’m going to miss my home setting and Madison, WI, I’m excited to figure it all out when I’m there, and truly cannot wait to fully immerse myself in the Barcelona culture and scene these next four and half months! Bring on the tapas!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more posts coming soon!