CISABROAD BLOG · September 20, 2016 · 2 Min Read
First Impressions | On Returning to Barcelona

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May Hamid is a CISabroad alumna who interned in Barcelona, Spain. May studied at Virginia Commonwealth University. Read on as she reflects on the beautiful city she promised herself she would return to — and then she did.


We are curious creatures, born to watch, observe and analyze. We’re determined to find answers to questions we’re not sure we understand and make up stories about the ones we feel that we do.

I stand still in the midst of a chaotic street, miles away from any home I ever had, and observe. My eyes glance the immensity of the world, and I sense the vastness of the intensity of a busy city. I sigh, in awe of the beauty that mesmerizes me and of the artistic values this street contains. I wander more and see colors everywhere, through fashionable styles and determined glances. As I look in the eyes of the people crossing by, I realize what allures me is neither the antiquity nor the delicacy of La Rambla; it’s how gracefully its people swaddle around to their directions. I become scrutinized by the glamour of the lights and the colors, and I get drunk on their bloom.

But more than that I become envious and determined to become a part of these people, to have a direction that I would rush towards everyday, their confidence, knowledge and grace. I become enamored with the lifestyle, and resolve that the day will come when I become a version of myself that I would be envious of as well.

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5 years later…

My name is May, like the month. It’s September 15, 2016. I’ve been here for around three days. I sit in an office I do not own in the middle of the city I fell in love with years ago, and my mind wanders back to the day I decided I would come back. I look out my window at the breath-taking view, and I breathe in the smell of the city. It feels the exact same way. I’m still in awe of its beauty.

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