I have been in Barcelona for a couple months now and time couldn’t be moving faster. The emersion in the slow paced life is ironically making my time here feel fast. I think having already been through the culture shock when I was 14 has made me much more eager to explore, effectively desensitizing any feelings of “shock”. I think the key to overcoming any major homesickness is keeping busy and briefly in touch with life back home via social networks. Things such as watching movies and listening to music makes you still feel connected to that american world. At the same time It is also necessary to limit some of that American influence. Limit in the sense of turning off your phone, or not using snapchat all day. It is good to connect but people often mislabeled obsession with connection, including me! For example, I notice when someone sees something pretty instead of enjoying it they shuffle in there pockets for their phone so that they can post it on their snapchat story that their friends don’t even fully watch. What I’m trying to say is actually be in that moment and although you might get a good flick nothing compares to that initial feeling of actually being there and in that aura. In terms of keeping busy… on a tour of the city the guide identified Barcelona as 60 miles long. With a mere 120 days here, I have an unthinkable amount to explore. Not to mention weekend trips to neighboring countries. There simply isn’t enough time to get caught up in shock like emotions surrounding travel. Keeping busy keeps us sane and the same holds true no matter what part of the world we’re in. There is empowerment in the most simple things such as walking or reading and what better place to indulge in such activities than Barcelona. In addition to Barcelona, another European gift is how insanely close other countries are to one another. A couple weeks ago I visited Nice and was amazed to see how close and different the cultures were. I also distinctly remember crossing from Malaga into Morocco on a Ferry and Spain and Morocco are two very different countries. Again the close vicinity of them is fascinating to me.