Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Thorbahn, I am a member of the women's lacrosse team and I will be graduating in May of 2019. I left for Barcelona five days after my last game this season on May 21 and will be heading home on August 15, just 12 days before I have to move in for school this fall.
Barcelona was one of the few places I was considering to study abroad-the accessibility to the mountains and sea, the amazing architecture, rich art history, and the ability to easily travel throughout Europe were all major reasons why I chose Barcelona. I knew that if I was going to be studying abroad I wanted to go somewhere that was almost the polar opposite of where I am from.
I had never taken a spanish class before, have lived in the same town (Duxbury, Mass.) with just under 20,000 people my whole life, and I have never been away from home for more than a month. During the summer I've spent in Barcelona I have learned so many different things about myself and the different places in the world, like how there is a two-hour period everyday where stores are shut down for "siesta" aka nap time. Or how Barcelona is within an autonomous community called Catalonia, which is still fighting for their independence from Spain. And if you live in the city of Barcelona you need to be ready to walk at least 10 miles a day, or learn very quickly how to take the metro, especially if the taxis are on strike.
The things I've learned while living abroad this summer are countless and it is hard to repeat all of them, because some of them are as small as learning to order something in Spanish, but there are definitely some highlights of the trip that I will always remember. One highlight has been living in a new place every month; I have lived in a different area of Barcelona each session since I've been here and it's been the biggest blessing. I have knocked off every major tourist site on my list, but living in three different neighborhoods within the massive city has given me more insight to the culture than I would have ever imagined. Since I was only one of two people who has stayed here for sessions 1-3, I have been able to meet so many different people and I was even happier to discover that I was not the only athlete studying abroad. I have met other student-athletes from Columbia, Trinity, George Washington, Princeton, and Tufts; everyone in each session has shared the same desire to see as much as possible in this short period of time, which made it easy to travel to so many other places in Europe!
Besides Barcelona I have been to 11 total different cities/countries in Europe, my favorites being Amsterdam, Budapest, Dublin, Prague, Paris, and Mallorca! I'll be spending time in London with my dad before I travel back to Boston, and I am so excited to see another European city and compare it to my new second-home, Barcelona.