We’re literally flying out of our comfort zone today.
We’re leaving the familiarity of western Europe, about to board a flight to Romania. L and I are excited but a bit nervous. We know that from here forward things will be become a little more challenging with every step. We have just three weeks left in Europe before we change continents.
I think we’re ready though. We’ve learned a lot over the last 10 weeks…mostly how to figure things out.
It's time for something new.
We spent this week in Barcelona, Spain.
This city is special to us – certainly a home away from home.
In fact, I think it’s where this all began. I doubt we’d be doing what we’re doing today without our experiences here.
In 2005, L came to Barcelona for several months to work. I visited him for almost three weeks and it was our first big adventure together. I have vivid and cherished memories of our time here 13 years ago.
A few years later, L returned for a conference and then, when LJ was nine months old, we came back to Spain as a family. It was her first overseas adevnture.
Over the years, she has loved looking at the photos of that trip and often asked to go back. When she fell in love with soccer her interest in the city grew as Barcelona is home to her favourite team.
We arrived just in time for la Diada, which is the National Day of Catalonia. We went with a friend to the rally, listened as she talked about the region's incredible and complex political situation, and watched a million people show their pride and passion for their culture. It was a remarkable and humbling experience.
LJ has a club house in our backyard in Ottawa and its door is a Catalan flag that L gave her. After the lessons of that day, I’m certain that little house will carry a little more meaning.
We spent the rest of the week eating homecooked meals with our friends, playing soccer in the park and relaxing at the beach. We showed LJ La Sagrada Familia and some other sights, where her dad once lived, places she’d been as a baby, and things her dad and I had done before her.
One of the big things LJ wanted to see this year was Camp Nou, which is the home of FC Barcelona. We spent three hours exploring the stadium and the team’s museum. I didn’t think it was possible for LJ to get even more passionate about soccer…I was wrong!
On our last day we escaped the big city and took the train to visit L's friends in Manresa. We enjoyed incredible views of Montserrat, a long walk, a delicious feast, and watching LJ run around and climb tress with new buddies.
It was a special week. Barcelona now holds pieces of all three of us – memories, passions and friends.
I thought I’d be sadder to leave. I thought a week wouldn’t be enough because over the years L and I have talked about spending extended time in Barcelona.
But the week was enough.
You see the city has changed a lot and so too have we.
We love this city, It's a place that’s shaped our family. It’s great to go back to this home away from home and I’m certain we’ll return again some day, but…
We’ve grown up and are ready to spread our wings and fly off on new adventures.
Barcelona with Kids
How to get to Barcelona:
Where to stay in Barcelona:
What to do in Barcelona: