Oh how my heart bursts when I think about this beautiful, vibrant city. I spent the summer of 2017 studying abroad in Barcelona, living out the dual tourist-student vibe so many study abroad students can probably relate to. By day, I was stuck in a very dull colored classroom, learning about the fabric of urban development and the ethics of educational technology. By afternoon, I was studying in coffeeshop... after coffeeshop... after coffeeshop... By night, I was taking my own self out for a walk, editing photos from the weekend's explorations, and learning to cook for one using nothing but goat cheese, chorizo, and lots of brown rice. I shared a kitchenette and really long desk with the best roommate (shoutout) and learned a LOT about God. All in all, I know that summer will hold near to my heart for the rest of my life. In the moment, I remember it was hard.
Nobody really emphasizes how homebodies might miss home while they're living across an ocean. I felt an immense sense of loneliness, having left everyone I loved thousands of miles away while I explored a country and culture I knew very little about. I'd been to Barcelona one other time with my family years ago, studied Spanish in high school, and was raised to appreciate Hispanic culture. But to live "on my own" and figure life out with nothing more than tips from past students and a slew of stranger-friends was an adventure that (eventually) changed me for the better. But it took a while. It took many, many lessons.
Adventuring away - even for a glimpse of a weekend - could not bring me much more joy than it did this particular time. Courtesy of an excuse for anniversary celebrations and our mutual travel bug to experience Southeast cities in ways only we could, my guy and I took to the cobblestone streets for a 36-hour getaway in the charming town of Charleston, South Carolina.
Let's disrupt what it means to read about corners of this Earth online. Raise your hand if you want to see perfectly edited pictures of bloggers living their best life in every dang city you never even thought you wanted to visit. Oh, you don't? Me neither.
I asked on this Instagram post for ideas on how to share about travel without cluttering the Internet with another blog post no one wants to read. Here's what some of you said:
Hi, I'm Chlo.
I've been writing and reading and all the storytelling things since I learned as a kid that if you fold and staple construction paper together, it sort of looks like a real book. I have always craved soul serving stories- ones that melt like butter in your mind as you hear your heart explained out loud.
This here is my home away from home. When I'm not exploring neighborhood coffeehouses, driving down the Pacific Coast (again), or loving on all my people - I'm probably here, with you. Come on in! Scroll around. I hope you feel less alone.