I returned home from studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain two days ago and it has been quite a process adjusting back to my normal way of life. When I first arrived Barcelona I had no idea what to expect from the people and the city. It surprised me how pretty the buildings in the city were because they were very old and had a lot of character. Everywhere I looked reminded me of what a historic district of a city would look like back in the states, but of course everything there was much older there than it is here. When I first arrived to the apartment that I would be staying at for the next six weeks I met my four room mates and we wandered around our new home to explore. It didn’t take us long though, because families in Spain are used to having much smaller living spaces. We had four tiny bedrooms, a kitchen the size of a small walk in closet, a medium sized living space, and two small bathrooms.
Apart from the size of our apartment, I was also stunned at the fact that no one uses dryers in Spain. Outside the windows of our apartment were clothing lines and clips to hang clothes outside to dry on. The washers are also much smaller there so you can not wash a lot of clothes at once. This made it take much longer to wash all of your clothes because you would have to do smaller loads and hang your clothes outside to dry and that could take up to two days if the weather was not clear.
When I first got home in Louisville I put a load of clothes in the washer, walked through my kitchen, and then my bedroom and felt like I had so much space. Being in Spain made me appreciate the size of everything over here in the United States because everything here is much bigger. People in Spain spend most of the time outside of their house working or enjoying the outdoors, so the places they live in are as small as possible because it makes more sense to them and is probably more cost efficient.
The most challenging aspect of coming back to life in the United States is leaving all of the friends I made while abroad. We are all from different parts of the country so I will most likely not see them for a while. We all had a very close knit bond because we mostly hung out with each other throughout the trip. Another challenging part of coming home was that the food here is much different. I ate a healthy American meal for dinner the night I got home and after it I was still extremely hungry. I attribute this to the fact that over in Spain I received large portions and ate every last bite of the food I could because it was expensive. So when I got back here I had to adjust back to my usual healthy way of eating. Overall, it is nice to be home but I am so glad that I spent my summer abroad in Barcelona, Spain!