I finally found a flat, phew what a relief, but it was a lot harder than I though it would be. Originally, my plan was to live with a couple of girls I met on Facebook from my program. We’ve all been exchanging e-mails for months trying to find a place. They all arrived two weeks before me and started looking for a flat for four girls, but they had no luck. A couple of days before I arrived in BCN, I got an e-mail saying that they couldn’t find a flat and decided that it would be best if we all find a place on our own. I was really bummed and nervous about having to look for a place and live with complete strangers.
Luckily, Anette made some awesome friends while spending her year here in Barca and they offered to take me in until I got settled. I was quickly introduced to loquo, the craigslist.com here and started looking at the postings online. I knew I wanted to live close to my school in a neighborhood called Eixample Izquierda, plus it’s a really central barrio in the center of the city. I spent my first days glued to the computer looking for new flat postings and calling people to make an appointment to see the flat and meet my potential roommates. The awesome part of looking for a place was that it gave me an excuse to explore the city and get to know the different barrios in Barca. Where I struggled, was when I would call to make and appointment and get the address people would speak really fast and they pronounce the street names in Catalan and half the time I had no idea what they were saying. I would look on the map to find the street or look on Google maps, but I couldn’t find the streets. I quickly learned that the best thing to do was ask for the closest metro stop, get the cross streets and write everything phonetically so that I could look it up on a map and figure it out. Google maps was my savior and the best thing about Barca is that people are helpful so if you ask where a street is they will point you in the right direction. Well, during my first three days I looked at about 10 different places, but the rooms were either too small (no joke, honestly – just a bed fit in the room), I didn’t like the location or I didn’t like the vibe I got from my roommates.
At this point, I was really frustrated and a little discouraged. I talked to Anette and she made me realize that I was restricting myself. I was only looking for all girl roommates and it’s really common here to live with guys. I decided to be more open minded and looked at a couple of places with guys, but the best part of it all is that I got my first ride on a moto! I went to look at my first flat with guy roommates and as we were leaving, he asked me where I was going and he offered me a ride, I was a little hesitant, but then I decided that I’m in Barca to live my life and take a chance so why not. He handed me a helmet, I jumped on the moto and off we went. It was a little scary, but I’m glad I did it… it was definitely an adventure and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I can now cross that off my to-do list.
So anyways, I found my flat, it’s perfect for me. The second I walked in and saw my room and met my new roommates it felt like home. It’s really simple, but I’ll make sure to make it my own, click here to check it out. I’m living with a married couple and a guy from Argentina, I haven’t moved in yet, but they’ve already made me feel welcomed. I actually almost missed out on this place, I made an appointment to come see the flat at 9 p.m., but there was a huge thunderstorm that came out of nowhere. I had to buy an umbrella since I was already out and about looking at flats and in the area. I had my handy map and Google directions, but because of the rain and my effort to try to stay dry, I made a wrong turn and got really lost. After walking around for 30 minutes and with no one on the streets for me to ask for directions, I found a little ledge to hide out in as I looked at my map. I almost gave up and cancelled, but I’m glad I didn’t, because I found my new home for the next year, it was worth the challenge and definitely an adventure I’ll remember.
I can’t believe I’ve only been here for a week, Barcelona already feels like home and I couldn’t be happier. Once I move into my new flat on Oct. 1 and start school, it’ll start to feel real. I wake up with a smile on my face everyday and in shock that I’m really here, I’m definitely living my dream.