The thing that can be difficult about living in a foreign country is being constantly surrounded by a foreign and unfamiliar language (especially here in Barcelona where they speak Catalan, not Spanish…and no the languages are not all that similar) But then again that is the most exciting thing about living abroad. But there are some days where you long to walk down the street and just be surrounded by English, and ache to be able to understand what people are saying and communicate without even thinking.
One thing that I have truly learned to treasure during my time here are the stolen moments I get to read a book. Being lost in a world of English words is so great and way more appreciated when you’re living abroad. I have always loved books and loved to read for as long as I can remember. I always love to curl up with a good book, any time, any place. If I found an exceptionally good book or a page turner, I would not put it down (unless I absolutely had to) .. I’m not kidding. I would walk around my house reading my book, brush my teeth reading my book, eat dinner reading my book.
When I moved to Barcelona I only brought a few books with me. I had limited weight in my suitcases so I had to be selective in my choices. (I have so many books at home). Lucky for me I also have a kindle (I prefer reading a physical book though). But the thing I do love about my kindle is I can borrow any book I want from my library at home even though I am abroad. But I have slowly been growing a library during my time here , both books in Spanish and in English.
So now here I have been treasuring my “book time” even more than usual. For me there is nothing greater than the combination of a good book and a good cup of coffee. And let me tell you the coffee here is great, I don’t think I can ever go back to drinking american coffee after this. There is something special about the combination of a hot drink and a book, I don’t know what it is. But anyone who reads understands the magic of this mix. Whenever I feel completely overwhelmed its nice to sit on my balcony with a coffee and my book and soak up the wonderful Mediterranean sun. Or curl up in my bed with a cup and a book. Or to find a cozy cafe (of which there are plenty in Barcelona) and just get lost in the book I’m reading. Somedays when it’s nice out I love to venture down to the beach, which is pretty empty during this time and enjoy the sound of the ocean and my book. Books are magical, for me they really transport me into the story and sometimes when I feel a little homesick, miss a little English, or just need an escape a good book does just the trick to make everything feel better.
I’ll leave it off with a great (and extremely relevant quote):
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
PS I found a great secondhand english bookstore here in barcelona, I have visited many times since my arrival and always walk out with a few books… It’s called hibernian books (http://www.hibernian-books.com) and it’s a tiny little shop in Gracia. Any english readers in Barcelona should definitely go check it out.