A two-hour layover from Chicago to Barcelona, Spain is not passing by as quickly as I hoped it would be. I guess the combination of uncomfortable leather seats, stark and fabricated smells wafting through the vents, and this venti skinny mocha coffee from Starbucks aren’t exactly helping my case. But getting the venti coffee was necessary, and ever since college the concept of a small caffeinated beverage instead of a large is as foreign to me as the city I will be arriving in after this flight.
I have been anticipating this moment, right here sitting in the airport, since I received the email of acceptance to the “Business and Culture” Barcelona, Spain program. Immediately, thoughts of exotic foods, local culture festivals, and unprecedented experiences trickled into my mind while I imagined myself meandering the cobblestone streets. Barcelona’s rich history and exceptional architecture are what initially draw in hordes of tourists, but what’s beneath that thick velvet curtain of intrigue is what I hope to discover. As a student, you receive special access to a city because, even if only for a semester, you live your life there and create a system of conducting yourself day to day. I am allowing girly thoughts to pop into my head while waiting for the boarding announcement. Which outfits I am going to wear while adventuring for the best local coffee shop or where will I find my favorite studying cubby? So many questions and even more expectations for the semester where I will continue to fulfill traveling bucket list items.
It’s a little difficult to get all starry-eyed while I remain in the Chicago airport so I am sticking to my brief daydreams and eclectic iTunes playlist. A smile slowly curves on to my face as I remember my dad’s expression when he saw the number of items I felt were necessary to bring abroad. Just because I had to sit on my suitcase to close it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with having a variety of choices! One top could be the one I choose to wear on a weekend jaunt to Italy and another pair of jeans where I sit on the steps of La Sagrada Familia. A crackled voice jolts me from my thoughts and announces it time to board for those flying to Barcelona. I grab my large carry on and hand my ticket to the attendant. This is going to be the semester of challenging yet distinctive learning opportunities and where my wanderlust will run wild and free.
Now, real question, which movie should I start with on my iPad?