Monday, 31 October 2016

Oh We're Halfway There

Wow… it is crazy to think that I am half way through my placement here in Barcelona! Although I am glad that I am not half way through my time and that I extended my stay here until the end of July 2017!

Time goes way too quickly and I thought I would do Half Way Highlights to show what I am proud of doing and have taken the most out of my experience of interning abroad! From the list already I cannot wait to go my yearly highlights and also a reflective blog when the time comes for me to come home. 

(I am already tearing up…) 

Anyway here are my highlights!

1. Made so Many Friends

This is something I am so grateful for! I have made friends from work, my flat, gym, my neighbourhood and from going out to meet ups and Erasmus events! Whether they are here for a year or 4 months I have met some incredible people!

I have met people from so many countries. France, Spain, Italy, Romania, Canada, America, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Russia, Lithuania, Sweden, German, Australia, Switzerland, Holland, Netherlands, Denmark… I could go on and on. But what connects these people from these countries is that they want to create experiences with you and are so friendly!

I only have a couple of true, best friends back home in the UK and I am lucky enough to have made 2 really good friends over here that are on my crazy level and maybe a little bit more. Sabrina and Rikke are two of the best people I have met out here!
Definitely Friends for Life! 

2. I Went On A Motorbike … Sorry Dad!

Ok so its not a big motorbike but its bigger than a moped! I didn’t drive it obviously I just went on the back of one! I have never been too fond of motorbikes or seen what the big hassle was about them, but I was meeting up with a friend and he gave me a lift back to mine. I trusted him and I thought Why Not! I will have my Lizzie McGuire moment and have some fun!

The thought in the back of my mind was “What will my parents say” but then I thought they were young once and to be honest they probably want me to live life and enjoy it! Other than my sister who travelled no one in my family has done an internship abroad and they would want me to do this. 

It was so much fun! Driving around Barcelona with the wind hitting my face and helmet which was so attractive but safety first! I got to see the beach, go around the monuments and experience Barcelona in a different route. Going on a back of a motorbike may seem like nothing but I am a worrier and always second guess things so for me this was big but so much fun!

3. Visited Parc Guell

When I googled Barcelona (I knew what and where it was I just wanted to research it before I moved). The first page of pictures I saw other than the football team was Parc Guell and I Was mesmerised! The architecture was stunning!

After a trip on the metro, we came to Parc Guell. It is huge but so pretty and guess who forgot to put suntan lotion on and bring her big bottle of water… me! Luckily there were people on site selling literally water bottles filled with ice! It was amazing!

The first thing that struck me was the variety of architecture. From the gardens, to the walkway and mosaics it was stunning! We spent about an hour there and we were unable to go into the main mosaic section where you can find the most amazing views as you have to pre book and pay 8 euros I believe and it takes a while to get in there! But we were able to see the views anyway! It was so beautiful definitely worth a visit!

4. I visited Joey Tribianni´s Seduction Story Location

If anyone doesn´t watch friends that will mean nothing to you!

That time when Ross and Rachel found out they were having a baby they told the story of “that night” and got into a debate about who came onto who with both sides blaming the other. That is until the tape said it all, and it was Rachel who use the story that you tell if you want to seduce the person your with.

The story basically starts off saying “I was backpacking in western Europe … I was on the outskirts of Barcelona on Mountain Tibidabo”… or something like that. I can´t remember the story lines as well and I am certainly not as smooth as Joey Tribianni!
That isn´t the only reason we visited Tibidabo, the views are also incredible. The transportation up there is also an experience in itself also very costly! After getting a train, tram and funicular we were up at the top and the views were amazing! There is a theme park for kids which is quite (very) costly but also a few restaurants too. So we went and had some tapas, I had patatas bravas because its my ultimate favourite. After admiring the views we decided to get a bus back to the station as its cheaper and go home, we didn´t spend long there but it was worth the trip despite the price!

The views were fantastic and visiting the church too was lovely.

PS: if you ever want to visit a church in Spain especially in summer make sure to where clothes that are below the knee as it’s a sign of respect and it’s the only way you can go in.

5. Speaking Spanish

After studying Spanish for 12 years I was quietly confident that I would be able to understand the locals here… I couldn´t have been anymore wrong! It is true what they say that to learn a language you need to go to the country and learn it from the locals.

I learned Castilian and here they speak Catalan too and the dialect is very different! Its like going from the south of England with no accent and going to Newcastle! But I have been practising everyday but also doing daily things like speaking to my receptionist at my flat and going to the supermarket has helped loads!

I feel myself improving and I am so excited! My plan is to go back fluent! Although where I speak Spanish all the time I have a vision of me going back for Christmas and going to the pub and speaking Spanish to the English!

6. Eating Lots of Tapas

The simplest things really do please me. The food out here is insane and I am not sure how I am meant to cope going back to England without traditional Spanish food.
One thing I have had to get used to is the amount of seafood there is. For some reason, I have never liked seafood. Don´t know why and people always say “Why don´t you like it, you should try it”… and my answer is “sorry my taste buds don’t like it I have no control” so being over here I have to put up with the smell all the time which I am getting used to now! 

Other than the fish Barcelona has so much food that I cant stop eating! Favourites have to be Iberian Ham Croquettes and Patatas Bravas. Also the ham here is amazing and I do not miss having bacon one bit and the churros… my god the churros.

7. Learned A lot

One thing I was always nervous about going into an internship, any internship I would have had, was not knowing anything. That the jump between 2nd year uni and placement would be too much of a big jump.

Before I left I kept thinking “I am in charge of their social media, blog writing, I don’t know what CMS is or SEO”. I was so nervous. But I had great training in the first week of being here. Of course like any job you learn things as you go, you improve as you go and carry on. 

I have learned so much about online social media marketing, CMS, SEO and specifically learning how to interact with bloggers which is something that I appreciate.

Some people just don´t understand blogging and social media which is understandable as it can be a relatively new thing to people. However, it is so important especially within marketing because they are the people that influence all of their followers and I think its amazing how they work.

8. I Found a New Home

Most people say “It´s like my 2nd home” and Barcelona for me is like my 4th! I grew up in Southampton for 14 years and have got a lot of good friends there so it will always be a home to me as I have so many great memories there! Then I lived in Cornwall for  years and go back for Christmas, Easter and Summer in between uni and have got family, friends and a lot of memories there so that will always be my home. Bournemouth will always be my home, by the time I finish uni I would have been  there for 3 years and it has been a big part of my life so that’s always going to feel like home. 

Although I will only be in Barcelona for just over a year it has already become my home to me, so much has happened and so many good things have come from this that this city has captured my heart over and over again! I am going to miss it so much when I eventually have to leave and I will be coming back as much as I can!

9. Spanish Public Holidays

You haven’t experienced public holidays until you come to Barcelona or Spain! In England its just another excuse to drink and that’s pretty much it! It is a completely situation here! Of course people go out and drink but there is so much more to it! For example, the 24th of June was Noche de San Juan, I can´t remember the reason its celebrated but its amazing! It is full of fireworks and crackers being thrown at you! It is like UK´s New Years Eve on alcohol its mad! 

Most of the night after an Irish bar visitation we spent all of the night on the beach and sat with a group of people from France and it was so nice just chilling for the night on the beach getting to know more people! Ironically, it was also the night before the whole Brexit result was announced and everyone was like “Why do you want to leave the EU” and I was like I don´t!

10. Singing Karaoke

Singing for me used to be a passion, especially when I did it for my course. But during the final year of college I ruined my vocal chords because I was ill and forced myself to sing for our assessment. Ever since, I haven’t sung properly only for fun!
My friend Rikke wanted to do Karaoke with me and I thought why not, its another thing off the list to do. I had a few drinks to get me loosened up so I would not think about everyone else. 

Rant time: in my eyes Karaoke is for those who can´t sing or don’t take themselves too seriously not for those good singers who put on an X Factor performance. There was this one girl who was an amazing singer but she took it way too seriously. I am talking hand grabs and dance moves, it completely put me off and she was right before us so I had to have some Dutch courage before I went up.

We chose to sing Mr Brightside by The Killers and it went well, people were singing along and I was pretending I couldn´t see anyone! Once it was all done I was glad I did it because I will only regret the things I didn´t do

That’s all my highlights so far! Obviously got way more but that would be one long blog post!

Next up will be my Halloween outfit and night out in Barcelona!
Bye xo


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