something i learned on the flight:
long flights? walk to the bathroom or down the aisle at least twice during the trip. sitting for too long hinders circulation in the lower body. found out through puffy ankles and feet once we got off the plane.
my friend and i came with un poco to no spanish and NADA of Catalan in our vocabulary. thank you, god, for google translate. we were able to maneuver taxis and metro, and eat and drink at non-tourist bars and restaurants mostly because of this. we stayed in L’Hospitalet and went to Vila de Gracia, El Born and El Gotico.
when i was about 12yrs. old i visited Paris, France. i remember receiving negative reactions to our only speaking english, and so i expected the same in Barcelona. i told mi papa before coming that i was nervous about attempting spanish because i’m clearly american and i thought i might mispronounce words. he told me to speak what feels right, which will vary depending on the place and situation. this advice very much came in handy. most of the people we encountered spoke none to very little english. in these cases it was necesario to learn how to ask for what we needed in spanish. this broke my nervousness and i began to prefer speaking spanish to locals. however, in tourist areas and at the hotel, the workers and people of these areas preferred to speak to me in english, so we did.
on this trip i learned a little bit more on communicating my wants and needs clearly. i traveled with a friend, with both of us on a budget. in my mind, i thought it would be clear to trade off or split transportation fares, meal bills, etc. but when i found myself paying for most of what we were doing, i saw that i needed to speak up on what i thought was clear, but was not. i am a natural giver in general; i’m not hesitant to show affection by buying things, creating plans, being the leader or protector or the “don’t worry, i got it” person in my relationships. however, i’ve found that establishing this as my permanent role with the people in my life blocks the flow of reciprocity in my relationships. i find myself tapped out and i’m closing the door on my ability to receive gifts. this also can make others feel like they’re role in the relationship is less significant and can cause distance. Not being afraid of vulnerability or of receiving from others and from life is a major lesson learned from my trip to Barcelona. Allow life to flow.