It’s crazy to think we only have a month or so left here in Barcelona. Time has flown by in a way that I wish we can hold onto longer. Not to our surprise, it didn’t take long to feel right at home here.
Our days in Barcelona are spent as we normally would. Since we don’t start work until later in the day, the mornings are slow. We’ve been making pour over coffee with beans from Nomad each day, savoring the quietness in the apartment. The city just outside our place starts to come to life as we hear the horns, shops opening up their doors, and deliveries arriving. Another reminder that the day is beginning and it’s time to start moving.
We’ve been spending most of our time in El Born or in the Gothic Quarter. Our favorite restaurants are there, places like Bo de B or El Xampanyet. After visiting these places a bit too frequently, they’ve come to recognize us and ask if we want our normal order. Even this past week, a few of the staff greeted me like family at El Xampanyet. It’s the things like this that make us feel right at home here.
October was a month for travels. One of the best perks of being here is proximity and low cost of travel throughout Europe. We took full advantage of it — Mallorca, the Dolomites, Seville, Madrid, and Amsterdam are some of the places we visited. Our most memorable was certainly the Dolomites. I’d say it’s my favorite place I’ve been to in Europe in a long time — the kind of place we will return to some day soon.
Our last month here will be spent mostly in Barcelona. Going through the rhythm of calling this city home as we start to consider our move back. There are parts of our home in California we miss, mostly friends and family, and there’s parts we can’t say we’re looking forward to. Quality of life here in Barcelona is better than we could have hoped for and we don’t take it for granted. It’s the strangest of feelings to be split on what and where home is.
Something we’ve been doing along the way is making note of what it is we are looking forward to on our return — countryside drives in Sonoma, seeing family in Auburn, a bit more space, and the cats of course. We’ve come to later recognize that our decision to leave SF almost two years ago, though hard at the time, was the first step in pursuing what really fulfills us.
For so long it felt good to call SF home. We had made it — we had worked hard to stay in an ever-changing environment and be comfortable in a city that can be so challenging to live in, and to make a life. It’s taken more grit than we could have imagined. We stayed for 7 years and now it almost feels like a lifetime ago that we were there. It’s funny, now when I think about going back to the Bay Area in December, my imagination doesn’t even picture SF — I see the rolling hills of Petaluma, a humble bakery tucked on the corner, and oak trees. I think it’s a sign of what will be in the next chapter.
This decision to sojourn in Barcelona for three months feels similar to our move from SF to Marin. A change from our habits and rituals, so we can have a new perspective for these chapters to come. It’s with joyful and yet heavy hearts that we tear away from what we know as home to explore and acknowledge what our souls crave for.