My personal reflection about life in Barcelona is that everyone can find something in this city. Four months, in my opinion, is enough to see a city for what it truly is. I have experienced the city inside and out, not only through the eyes of a tourist but as a “local.” I remember the day I considered myself a local for the first time. More often than not, I traveled through the city using Barcelona’s well-coordinated public transportation system. On this day, I remember realizing that I knew exactly where I was going and not thinking twice about it.
It occurred to me that I had moved past the usual tourist spots, and had begun to enjoy Barcelona as a resident. One of my best decisions was to immerse myself completely in what was in front of me. Instead of Starbucks, I found myself next door in the traditional cafeteria, drinking significantly better coffee while continually immersing myself in the Spanish culture and language. But the difference in coffee is not what really stands out. Surprisingly, American culture is shut off as soon as you walk through the doors. No Internet, no SportsCenter, and most importantly no English. From this point, you open yourself to experience so much more than a vacation.
As for the city itself, the classic laidback Spanish aura is overwhelmingly present; with sophisticated architecture, elegant apartments, and cafés every three blocks, Barcelona wonderfully displays traditional European city centers. However, the liveliness is constant. The energy is provided by either the consistent flow of tourist traffic in Plaza Catalunya, or the very wild middle age generation that fuels nightlife. With so much to do, you can find yourself dangling your legs off a historic war bunker overlooking the city and later lay side-by-side with the most beautiful people in the world on the renowned Barcelona beaches.