I’ve said this so many times before, and I will continue to say it. If you have the opportunity to travel, take it. Grab it and run. Do NOT let that opportunity slip away because that would be the worse mistake you could probably make. There are so many reasons why you should study abroad; heck, I even made a list about them here.
The most important reason to go abroad is that you will get so many opportunities to travel around! Traveling is such an amazing thing, and without choosing to study abroad, I probably wouldn’t have the chance to go to all these places.
At the beginning of March, I realized that the first half of my semester at Luleå Tekniska Universitet ended on March 24th; and I was finally free from the clutches of university. At least for a few days. Classes wouldn’t start up again until March 31st. So, that meant that I had six days to go on an adventure. I sat down, and all I could think about was how I NEEDED to do something big. Something fun. But what should I do? Luckily for me, my friend Mary sent a text in this group chat asking if anyone wanted to go someplace warm after the term ended. Obviously, I said yes.
Mary and I sat down and began to brainstorm possible destinations for our adventure. In the end, we finally settled on going to Barcelona, Spain. I was ecstatic to be going to Spain. Sweden was the first European country I have ever been too, and Spain was going to be the second.
On that day, if done right traveling around Europe could be very cheap. We got our plane tickets for an excellent price because SAS offers youth tickets for people under 26 years old. Then, while staying in Barcelona, we stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn for around $70 for four nights!
Fast forward to the end of the exams, and it was finally time to leave Sweden! We were leaving on the 26th, and we would return on the 30th.
The 26th was an absolute insane travel day. We had to take a total of three flights to Barcelona, and for someone who doesn’t enjoy planes that much, three planes were way too many. Our first flight was 1 hour from Lulea to Stockholm. Our second flight was around 50 minutes to Stockholm to Copenhagen, and finally, our last flight was around 2 hours and 30 minutes from Copenhagen to Barcelona.
Our plane landed in Barcelona around 16:10. We grabbed our stuff, hustled off the plane, and caught a taxi to our hostel. As we were riding in the taxi to St. Christopher’s, I was in complete awe as I looked out the window. I was in Spain, and I couldn’t believe it. As we arrived at the hostel, check in was quick, and we dropped off our bags. We spent the rest of the night walking around and exploring until we found a little sandwich shop where we decided to eat dinner. My whole meal came out to around 5 euros, and I was in love with this city already because in Sweden, eating out is so much more expensive.
On March 27th, we woke up and met downstairs for breakfast at 8:00 sharp. We had a big day ahead of us and wanted to get started early. After eating a bunch of bread with ham and cheese, we set off for our bus tour of Barcelona! Yes, we decided to be the biggest tourists ever. This bus was exciting because was a guided audio tour talking about the history of each stop and we were able to get off at any stop, and just hop back on another bus whenever we pleased because there were buses every 10 minutes. Before we knew it, we spend a total of eight hours on this bus tour, exploring Barcelona. We finished up the tour at 19:00 and got dinner. If you ever go to Barcelona, go to some restaurant that does tapas. You won’t regret it! Needless to say, we had an early night because we were completely exhausted from all the exploring we did that day.
On March 28th, we had a bit later start to our day. We woke up a bit later and took our time with our morning. This morning we decided to head to the aquarium and spend our morning there. It didn’t open until 10:00, and it was only a 25-minute walk from our hostel. After admiring all the fish and sea animals, we spent a bit of time exploring the mall that was right next door. There, I found a person selling Turkish delight and bought some. They were amazing, and I now understand why that kid from Narina sold out his siblings for some Turkish delight! Around 13:30, Mary and I split up, and she went to explore on her own while I met up with on of my friends, James. James and I happened to be in Barcelona around the same time, so we decided to meet up and catch up! We met up at the Soho House and spent time talking, hanging out, and walking around Barcelona! It was such a great time. Around 19:00, Mary came over to the Soho House and the three of us enjoyed some amazing pizza from Cecconi’s.
March 29th rolled around so fast; I couldn’t believe it. It was our final day in Barcelona, and I wasn’t ready to leave! In these couple days, I had completely fallen in love with this city and everything it had to offer. I wish I could’ve stayed longer! However, I knew I had to make the most of my day. Mary and I spent the morning walking to Sagrada Familia, only to find out that tickets wouldn’t go on sale again for 4 hours. We didn’t plan that one out too well, but that’s okay. We spent time taking pictures from the outside, which was just as beautiful. Sadly for me, I ended up getting a massive headache. I think I was a bit dehydrated, so I left Mary to enjoy the last day, while I rested up back at the hostel. After resting up, I got an amazing falafel salad and walked around La Rambla street. It was a relaxing way to spend my last day in Barcelona, and I enjoyed it. At the end of the day, Mary and I met up at 20:30 to get dinner and I finally got to check off my bucket list, “drink sangria while in Spain.” You can see my excitement in the picture below. Sangria is great, but drinking it while in Spain makes it a lot better.
March 30th came quickly, and we were getting ready to leave for the airport early in the morning. This time we only had two flights back, and it went by pretty quickly, maybe too quickly. Soon enough, I was back in Lulea, Sweden, where as I exited the airport, all there was around me was a bunch of snow and ice. I felt a bit sad to be back because I’ve had enough of the snow and cold weather, but part of me was glad to be back.
I am so pleased that I was able to travel and spend some time in Spain. To this day, as I’m writing this, it doesn’t feel real. None of this feels real. It all still seems like a dream; a big crazy one that I will wake up from soon enough. I can’t wait for more adventures because I have a ton planned!