The last time I had a chance to post was after my weekend in Paris. Ever since then my life in Barcelona has sped up with class and my internship! The month of September was for us to get oriented with the city and living abroad in general. Barcelona had a few holidays which gave us time off from class and work. When October 1st came around, life got crazy. No more days off, the assignments started rolling in, and writing blogs for work became more difficult, and on top of that I was sick for a week. See study abroad life isn’t always fun and games! (only 99% of the time it is…) Anyways, here are the highlights from my past few weeks.
For the first two weeks in October, Barcelona had a mini version of Munich’s Octoberfest. At first, I ignored it and thought it was no big deal. Spain isn’t really known for beer and I thought nothing could be as fun as the real festival. But after one of my German friends swore that is was so fun and basically the ‘real deal’ I had to check it out. After an insane line to get in, I met up with Felix and Marcus from Germany (who already had a head start with a few liters), and my American ladies Danielle, Shaketta, and Yulia. We spent the evening drinking Paulaner out of steins that I could barely hold with one hand, dancing on the tables, cheering to traditional German songs, and pretty much having the time of our lives. I never had the desire to go to the real Octoberfest, but after this mini version, I have to experience the real thing one day.
After our dreadful goodbyes in Ireland, I didn’t think that I would see my wonderful friend Hannah until we both returned to the Sates in January. But to my surprise, she decided to use her week of free travel to return to her favorite places in Spain, her first stop was to visit me in Barcelona! My generous host mom invited her to stay with us in our tiny apartment which is above and beyond her obligations. Side note: I feel so blessed to have a host family that treats me as part of the family and not just a temporary roommate. Anyways, after some reunion hugs, kisses, and tears (yes tears that’s how much I love this girl), we were off to drink wine, eat pinchos, and talk the night away! Pinchos are mini tapas in top of a piece of bread with a tooth pick through it. They’re served in bar environments where you grab as many as you want and then pay 1 euro per toothpick once you are done. Later in the night Hannah met some of my friends and we walked around until 4am discussing our adventures abroad and exploring less touristy parts of the city.
After very little sleep, we headed to Gava. We walked along the beach for a while before reaching the surf shack where you can fine my host siblings every weekend. We had a nice picnic with Hannah’s favorite Spanish foods and snacks, slept, wrote in our journals, read….we had a nice time but never actually made it in the water. At this time in Spain the beaches are beautiful but the water is starting to get really cold. Gava is especially lovely because tourists literally don’t know about it. They all go to Sitges or Barceloneta making Gava less crowded giving off a private beach vibe. That night I showed her the magic fountains at the bottom of Montjüic. The fountains light up and make different shapes to music. The shows are every Thursday- Sunday and they are always different. The rest of the night was filled with champagne, beaches, clubs, and fun. We would have had a classic Barcelona evening by staying out until the sun rose, but we decided to end our night early (around 6:30am) so we could still have a Sunday…
Our Sunday was very peaceful and laid back. Hannah and I got tapas with Danielle and two of Hannah’s friends that were visiting Barcelona too. We had fun comparing our life in Barcelona to theirs studying in Bulgaria, extremely different experiences as you can imagine. Then Hannah and I split off and returned to a spot that we took siestas in the summer before in Parc de la Ciutadella. It was so special to be back in one of our favorite spots, we were missing our other travel buddies Caroline and Jacob from the summer before. After a little nap, unfortunately it was time for Hannah to head to the airport and return to Sevilla to visit her host family from her time abroad. Our goodbyes weren’t as sad this time because we looked at this 48 hours together as ‘bonus time’ and we were really lucky to have it. We also decided that we’ll have to make exploring Barcelona a yearly tradition since we’ve already done it two years in a row together!
If you read some of my previous blog posts, then you should know that I was interning for a company called Share is Fashion. After a month of working with this small company, I was finally getting a hang of the Spanish office environment, researching and blogging about fall trends, and I even dipped my toe in interviewing fashionable strangers on the street. Unfortunately, Share is Fashion’s main investor had to pull out for financial reasons which made the company go out of business. I was really shocked to hear the news, but I guess things like this happen when you work in the real world.
I met with my supervisor Jaume from Share is Fashion and Helena who is in charge of placing the students with companies. We discussed my different options and I decided to work with a company called Bravento. This company works out of the same office building and is also a startup phone app. Instead of focusing on fashion, they focus on exercising; specifically running, biking, swimming, and skiing.
My first and only day working for this new company so far was great! My supervisor, Iris, spent a lot of time showing me my duties with social media, marketing, and communications. It seems like this company has a lot more for me to do which is great. The day sped by and I learned a lot.
Interning for a company in Barcelona gets me out of my comfort zone in many ways. One of the biggest being lunch time. With Share is Fashion we would leave at separate times for lunch, I usually ate in a park and read a book. However with Bravento, they all have lunch at a café down the street. Iris was kind enough to invite me, it would have been so much easier for me to decline her offer and eat lunch in my usual spot, but instead I said yes to this new experience and had espresso and bacadillos with 10 loud and extremely fast talking Spaniards. Tomorrow is day two of the new internship. I’m hoping that it goes as well as my first day and continues that way for the rest of the semester! I keep joking that this company will go out of business in the next few weeks; let’s pray that that doesn’t actually happen. I’m trying to stay optimistic and flexible, which is pretty easy to do when you’re living in a beautiful city like Barcelona.