I am four months in, and my EVS experience has already turned out to be the best life decision I have ever made. In these past few months there were a lot of setbacks, I am not going to lie. I had phases of feeling down, unmotivated and without energy due to some bureaucratic issues, and the fact that I missed my friends. However, these past four months have also been the months in which I met new, inspiring people, I went salsa dancing almost every weekend, I visited super-cool open-air markets, learned how to edit photos and make my documents look really pretty, explored the whole city while looking for another apartment, and moved to the best possible location in Barcelona (or really close by) – Gracia.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. My most favorite thing I’ve done up until now was spending Christmas at the Barceloneta beach, drinking beer, eating Christmassy foods and philosophizing about life with this really wonderful new friend I met while in Barcelona.
Now, for those of you living in Barcelona, I am sure this is just another sunny Christmas, but for me this is the first sunny winter I had since as long as I can remember!
In Serbia winter time means snow, -15 degrees, cold, traffic jams, time with family, delicious food, and Christmas celebration on the 6th of January. Here it means sunny weather, +15 degrees, beach, sea, also delicious food, and Christmas celebration on the 25th of December. This year it so happened that I will have a chance to experience it both ways, since I will be going back to Serbia for the (orthodox) holidays.
It felt so strange seeing all of the Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city without seeing snow and not feeling my fingers from the cold. This ‘winter’ I was happy (no, scratch that, I was ecstatic!) to experience the sun and the sea, to be able to wear just a light jacket outside (and not the full ‘winter gear’) and to drink a cold beer instead of a hot steaming cup of tea because without it I would “die” of the cold. My wandering soul absorbed the sea imagining new travels, my warm hands embraced the sunlight and the salty air and my feet awakened by the softness of the beach sand.
Many times in these four months I wondered how will I ever go back from this city, the city I fell in love with 10 years ago (the longest love affair of my life), the city in which all my senses get charged with energy and motivation, the city with so much beauty, but also with so much history of suffering, the city with people who smile at you at the street even though they don’t know you, the city of artists, rebels and freedom fighters…
I guess my first test will be now when I go back home and experience that cold, gloomy winter I have gotten to know and dislike during my 25 years of existence on this planet. Stay tuned for more details about my warm and cold Christmas battle.