No Place Like Home? Life in Barcelona

Karlie Jeneson is a student at Boise State University and an ISA Featured BloggerKarlie is currently studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain.

Crowd gathering in Plaza del Sol for the finale of fireworks, dragons, and Catalan towers of the Catalonia independence festival.

I thought there was no place like home. That is, until I lived in Gracia.

For me, studying abroad wasn’t really a spontaneous decision. I have wanted to, since I was in high school. But, from the time it took for me to apply, to the moment I was boarding my Lufthansa double-decker airplane to Spain, it seems to have all happened without a moment’s notice. The first few days, or few weeks, were definitely a mix of emotions, but at this point, already over a month into my journey, I have no doubt in my mind that I am not in the absolute most wonderful place I may ever be in my life.

Gracia- my home-stay neighborhood in Barcelona, is a subject of it’s own. Not just Gracia, but the amazing host family that accompanies my precious little home in the heart of the most wonderful “barrio” in all of Barcelona, and to my knowledge, possibly in all of Spain. I have never felt more welcomed into an unfamiliar place in my entire life. You could say that Gracia is much like the Manhattan of New York City=not in the way you are might think, though. Take out the snobbish attitudes, and completely over-priced luxuries of Manhattan, and you have Gracia. A neighborhood where, when a space becomes available, a family of six will make a three-bedroom apartment work, that’s what it takes to live in this highly demanded barrio within the beautiful Barcelona.

Teams in Barcelona compete to build the tallest human tower.

Complete with precious boutiques, cafes, the feeling of true Catalan community, and numerous restaurant recommendations throughout Gracia, there are always new surprises as I continuously adventure through my neighborhood. I can’t wait for the coming months, and the new things I will learn about how lucky I am, to be situated in such an amazing location.

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