It’s been two and a half weeks since my return from Barcelona…

…It’s raining, the house is quiet, and I’m miserable – but I mean that in the best possible way. You see normally at this time on a Tuesday, I’d be exploring the streets of Barcelona, getting lost in new back streets or tasting the flavors from a nearby gelato stand. I would be kissed by the sun rather than trapped by the rain; hearing the waves of the beach beckon rather than the sloshes of puddles outside. Life at home is nice, life at home is comfortable. But it’s not life in Spain.

I arrived in Barcelona in early June, filled with anticipation, excitement, and wonder. After getting comfortable with a very friendly host mom and settled into my new digs, I distinctly remember thinking, “This is going to fly by.” I wish I could say I wasn’t right.

Each day was an equal balance of work and play. Actually, if I’m being honest, it was a little work, and a lot of play. I arrived at Varium each morning for a day of teaching dance, playing games, and keeping kids happy. Varium served as a home away from home, a place where I could relate to my co-workers and students through dance, music, and hip-hop culture.

After work (well… “work”), the real fun began. I spent most days living out my aspirations as a solo traveler – visiting new places, drinking in the history, and eating well and often. I met other solo travelers, made plans with friends the program, and honestly just lived life. Coming from a lifestyle where I worked 12-hour days, slept very little, and didn’t understand the concept of “free time,” it was eye opening to experience a more carefree, adventurous way of living.

Now that I’m home, I’m broke, bored, and restless, but all for good reason. I saw Venice, London, and cities in Spain. I ran into problems and solved them on my own, often in another language. I gained life skills and returned home re-inspired. Encouraged by my adventures, I’m seeking out new career opportunities and chances to travel. I have a new-found confidence and realization for possibility, all which wouldn’t have been possible were it not for my experience in Barcelona through Performing Arts Abroad.


–Cristina Camacho was a Dance Intern in Barcelona, Spain with Performing Arts Abroad in the summer of 2017.

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