I remember first seeing this quote in high school on a blog I’d stumbled upon, and it has stuck with me ever since. It’s not until years later, that I realized the word ‘wonder’ was supposed to be ‘wander.’ Ahh… that makes more sense… However, I have stuck with my initial spelling because I’ve realized that the two words go hand in hand- wonder and wander. Once you’ve wandered off somewhere, somewhere new and thrilling and challenging, you start to wonder what else is out there. And that seed of thought fruitfully grows into the start of something incredible.
I moved out to Barcelona in late-August and spent the first month completing my TEFL course, adjusting to a foreign country, and simultaneously trying to figure out exactly who I was. The month flew by and it was not only until after that I began to appreciate chaos of it all.
Post-TEFL was when I started truly easing into Barcelona life and curating myself. I moved into a dorm style home with seven other foreign girls, began my first job, and started making friends. Living wise, I was able to connect with my many roommates because we are all in our early 20s, moved away from our hometown, and began working in the easy breezy city of Barcelona.
Job wise, I was tearing hair and biting fingernails off trying to find that perfectly-fitting academy. I ended up filling up my weekdays with online teaching in the mornings and private classes in the evenings. Although that isn’t the traditional routine, I love the flexible schedule for the online courses and opportunity to build intimate relationships with the private classes I have now.
Friends wise, the closest friends I have now are the friends I made on the TEFL course. Since we endured a crucial moment in our lives together and have been struggling with adapting since we all moved, it was very fluid to continue with our friendship and we often meet weekly even months after to vent and support one another.
Although it has been almost half a year since I’ve moved to Barcelona, it feels both incredibly shorter and longer than that. And the best part is I’ve continued doing what I love most- travelling. I’ve been able to travel to the south of Spain, Portugal, and France. And I’ve been consistently discovering new parts of Barcelona and falling in love with the city in endless cycles. From celebrating the city’s many holidays to visiting unique cafes and restaurants to picking up a new hobby of skateboarding to learning Spanish and Catalan, there is always something to do, see, and experience. And possibly the best thing about the city is being able to go to the beach whenever you want and de-stress, go for a dip, or just enjoy the tranquillity of the sea.
Barcelona has continued to be a magical city and seems to never lose its certain lust. Even natives and long-term residents can only praise the city that never fails to make you smile and feel like life is good, like really, really good. So far, I have no intention of leaving yet and it feels like I’m only just getting started to truly adapt to the culture and blend in with the city. Making the decision to pack up and move has undeniably been a terrifying decision, but I have yet to feel an ounce of regret since living here and it will undoubtedly be one of the best decisions I could have done for myself. And I feel more in my element than I have ever felt before.
I guess the quote is right; my wonder has left me anything but lost, and instead more curious, more elevated, and much more ready to face anything else that comes my way.
by Ange Han