Coming off of the plane, having slept the whole way through with that exhausted-via-travel sleep, I was greeted by the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of Barcelona. It’s my second of hopefully a continual many times here, and the familiarity of it was a bit of a relief. I’m not always one to cling to comfort zones, but with the flux that has defined my life lately, I will be the first one to admit that comfort is a luxury sorely missed when it isn’t there. So, I was in a bit of a middle ground when it came to this trip – on the one hand I am worried about my well-being and state of mind coming into a very important part of my work; and on the other hand, I want to dive far into it and get lost, if only to get myself out of my own head.
That’s probably why I’m actually quite relieved to feel somewhat at ease, stepping into the slight cold of the Barcelona air. I hear the familiar lisp-riddled version of Spanish that is quite different from the one I’m used to from Southern California. I see the tall buildings riddled with small apartment-like residences that I know thousands of people call home. And I enjoy the ride provided me by the taxis even if the drivers seem a little awkward the whole way, likely because it is hard to converse with me. Don’t worry, driver, I feel the same way.
The hotel that I was supposed to be staying at with my boss greets me in English – I wonder if the bags are my dead giveaway… or if it’s my style… or if it’s because I’m Asian, they just default to English as a language bridge. Either way, I’m in the room after a little bit of time.