Quick update: I’m so sorry I missed last week’s blog but it was a very busy week as I’m going to tell you about! I spent most of the travel break in Barcelona, Spain and the last couple days in Keflavik and Reykjavik, Iceland!
So remember how I admitted that every time I travel to a new place I claim that it is the best one yet? You guessed it, I’m doing it again. First of all, the weather in Barcelona was incredible (love you Cope, but seeing the sun was nice for a change). I was wearing short sleeves and even tank tops the whole trip. I went with three friends, which was the perfect sized traveling group, and we ate our way through the city. Seriously, the food was unfathomably delicious. Here are just some examples of the unbelievable dishes we tried:
Fun fact (no judgment): we went back to the same brunch place (Brunch and Cake for anyone who is interested) three times over the course of our six day stay. Our first two days we went back to the same location, ordered mostly the same food, and even had the same waiter. He was definitely judging us but we had no shame, the food was that good. In addition to eating an insane, yet totally understandable, amount of food, we also visited some beautiful Gaudí buildings, historical spots, and museums throughout the city.
I also dragged my friends to the Barcelona zoo (going to the zoo in new cities seems to be a re-accuring theme so why not make it a new tradition?). It was a Wednesday so we were pretty much the only people there, but this made it even more fun!
That night, we experienced a traditional flamenco dance and dinner show which was breath-taking! It takes so much talent to move like the dancers did and it was a beautiful performance. The people in Barcelona were so friendly and it was an amazing trip.
After enjoying the sun for a couple of days, I decided to move on and explore a very different climate: Iceland. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and do something I have never done before which was travel to a whole new city alone. Honestly, I was nervous at first, but now I am so happy that I did it because I feel so much more accomplished and independent which is what studying abroad is all about! When I arrived, the wind was blowing so hard I (literally) almost blew over onto the ground. It was overwhelming. I got a couple hours of sleep before getting up and embarking on a tour of Iceland’s most spectacular sites and landmarks.
This included a national park, a geyser area, a waterfall, and a hot spring. It was incredible, life-changing, and any other descriptive adjectives you can come up with. The pictures do not come even close to doing them justice. The next day I explored the tiny city of Reykjavik and then enjoyed the Blue Lagoon! This travel break could not have been better and I am so lucky and thankful for the opportunities I had. Now that I’m back in Cope and getting back into the swing of classes and such, I have come to appreciate the time DIS gives us to travel and take advantage of the beautiful area we are surrounded by even more. I really am the luckiest person in the world.
Fun fact: I now have way too many key chains and stickers to fit anywhere but its totally worth it.
(Not so) fun fact: While I always talk about the fun and awesome parts of studying abroad, there can be tough times too. The Thursday before travel break was probably the most frustrating day I have had since I have been here. I went to the gym early in the morning before going to play with my Danish babies so I was already rushing to get there on time. My bike seat decided to break on my way there, making it very uncomfortable and nearly impossible to ride. Because of this, I was a little late to my practicum site (which is extraordinarily rude in danish culture…great) and my primary mode of transportation was completely broken. After practicum, as I struggled to ride my bike home (I honestly don’t even know how I managed), my tire decides to go flat! Everything that could have gone wrong decided to go wrong that day. But, when I finally and painfully made it home, my adoring host family was there to listen to the struggle that was my day, comfort me, and help me laugh about it. A new environment can be a challenge in itself to overcome, but there is always a way to get through it! Sorry for the cliché ending but it was a really good lesson for me and I thought I would share! Also sorry for this post being a little long, I hope you got through it!
Stay tuned for more craziness!
Stay positive. Stay passionate. Stay mad.