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One of the great things that you get to do when traveling long term is to start to feel like a local in the city that you’re visiting. Now this round, Ashley and I will only be in Barcelona for a month but even when you’re in city for a month you’re able to take liberties that you’re not able to when you are only in a place for a few days. If you want to spend the entire day watching Disney animated movies you can and not feel as if you are going to miss out on something. Even the small things like being able to have a routine after a lot of fast paced travel or unpacking our bags and feeling like I actually live somewhere is just one of the benefits of slowing down and living like a local for a bit. The best part is that before you go stir crazy by staying in one spot for too long you get to pack up and move on to you next adventure.
Since July 5th Ash and I have been living in Barcelona and it has been a wonderful experience. Even though a month hardly counts as considering yourself a true local I still feel that I’m a bit more than the average tourist. I feel like I’m becoming Spanish and I have to say I like it. It’s been nice to slow down a bit and really take in a new culture. The lifestyle that we have found in Barcelona was a much needed change for us.
Ash and I have now been traveling for three months straight and that’s quite a bit of travel. The majority of it has been fast paced, constantly moving everyday. We have been able to catch our breath here in Barcelona. This is also been the first place this summer that really has had summer weather. Iceland, the U.K., Holland, and Belgium were all somewhat miserable when it came to their “summer” weather. Paris had summer weather but it was not enjoyable as there was so much humidity that no matter what we did we just couldn’t cool down. Barcelona on the other hand, has been hot but hey, who cares? I am on the beach!
This is the first city I truly feel like we’ve gotten to see. It‘s the first city where we’ve actually unpacked our bags and put our clothes away. It’s the first city where I feel that it is okay to sleep in to midday and not have to worry about missing out. It is the first city where we have immersed ourselves in a neighborhood. Am I a true local? No, absolutely not. Living here is only temporary and I know feeling like a local is just a grand illusion that I’ve told myself. I still feel though, that I’m not your average tourist especially since we are coming back and will be staying here for three months straight in the winter hopefully in our same apartment.
We might not be locals but we’ve now stayed in the amazing city long enough to pick up some of the language and we can look at a menu and not be lost. We can walk into a crowded tapas bar and get a place to eat. Our local tapas bar now recognizes us. People don’t think we are foreigners when they first look at us. We are starting to feel comfortable with the way this city flows and breathes. It has become a place that Ash and I can see calling home for a while. I’m starting to understand and side with the local population on their feelings about tourists. It has only been a month and I am already treating Barcelona like a home and I am treating El Born as my neighborhood.
In reality I know that I’m not a local and will not be for the time being. Even though I think I know this city, I really do not. Maybe when Ash and I come back and live here for another three months I will have a better understanding of what it is to be a true local of Barcelona. Right now I’m a traveler that has for the moment made this my home. I’m still learning about the city and the way the people live and their attitude towards the world but I understand a lot more than I originally did. I am enjoying what I am learning so far and can truly see myself living in this great city. I enjoy waking up and going down to the beach to work out and and relax for a couple of hours. I enjoy having a late lunch then heading back home to take a siesta and work on the blog or other work. We then head out around 8pm to enjoy our local tapas bars, drink locally made cava, and then staying out to the wee hours of the morning only to walk home to see the real locals still enjoying the warm summer night air as they head to the clubs. I am not worried about seeing all the touristy things, I am not worried about taking a risk on new food joints. I can feel comfortable because I am in no rush to get to know this city. I can take my time in learning everything Barcelona has to offer.
So what is like being a local in Barcelona? I don’t have an answer yet, I’m still learning. I’m still trying to figure out how this city breathes and lives, still trying to immerse myself into its culture. If being a local is anything like what I’ve experienced so far then I want to find out more. Becoming a local is like when you start dating someone new. At the beginning everything is fascinating; you are in the honeymoon phase and everything is super exciting and fun. I count this first month in Barcelona like a first date. So right now I am just taking it slow not trying to learn everything at once because I have the luxury to take it slow. Hopefully over the next three dates Barcelona will allow me to get even a little closer to understanding what this amazing city has to offer and what it means to be a real local.
I hope you enjoyed my latest post. If you did please like and share with your friends. I always appreciate the support. If you have been to Barcelona or have lived her please help me out with tips on things to do in the comment section below. If you live in Barcelona currently I would love to meet up personally and talk about this wonderful city over a beer. Thank you for reading the post and like always, go out, travel and change the world!
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