Life in Barcelona – highs and lows

I just got done sending some posts with pics to the 5 friends I went on holiday to Culebra, Puerto Rico with.  This was back in April 2010. It reminds me that I wouldn’t be the person I am now or continued my travel lifestyle without them. Everyone I have met along my journey of life sums up in some ways the man I have become. It brings tears to my eyes in sadness as I am not geographically close to them now and at the same time tears of joy that I had the pleasure to meet them. I can only hope that many others feel the same way about their lives and had the opportunities that I did with the people they met. I have learned that holding grudges or reliving bad memories serves no purpose in moving forward but remembering some tough times can remind us that we persevered and are stronger now.

Puerto Rico 2010 – 6 friends camping on Playa Flamenco, Isla de Culebra

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Moving and living abroad is not as easy as moving to another city in your country in any way. Sure, you miss family and friends but in your home country you speak the same language and you can figure out most anything else. Another country with a different language is another ball game all together. Sure, going to the market and grabbing bread or mayo is easy. Try ordering from the seafood counter or deli. I have overcame this speed bump though and now greatly enjoy the seafood counter.. The fresh fish is like nothing I have ever seen. 20 different kinds of all shapes and sizes.

The Catalan/Spanish language

In Catalonia, there are 2 languages – Catalan and Spanish. Spanish, like Italian, is derived from Latin. Catalan is the native and original language until Barcelona was overrun and conquered by a combined effort of Dutch, Spaniards and French. The Catalan culture was forbidden and Spanish culture came to be. in 1860 the walls of Barcelona came down and the new centro was built. The Catalan culture slowly returned and now Catalonia – the state that Barcelona resides in – is fighting for independence from Spain. This would drastically change the dynamic of Spanish influence in Barcelona.

For now I only practice the Spanish language. Baby steps. My Spanish thus far is marginal but I get by and I will admit it is not a difficult language to learn. I’m just not as disciplined as I want to be. I know people living here for a few years now that speak English as their native and they don’t speak fluent Spanish at all. So stop bugging me you crazy Spaniards that always make a point to say “you need to learn more Spanish”. And this of course is translated to me by someone. I think to myself, if I did not speak English like them, how would I have ever traveled the world? Nobody in Bali or Dubai  or Jamaica speaks Spanish. I just laugh inside as, well, I can. It is hard in our times not to judge others. It’s in our blood. They judge me and I judge them in a small way for making those comments. Maybe not out-loud vocally but we all do it.

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