It has been almost 2 months since my crazy Spanish adventure ended and I’m not quite sure yet how I feel about the whole thing. A part of me keeps wondering if it ever happened at all. Back home in sunny South Africa (Cape Town to be more specific) I’m busy sending out my CV to loads of exciting job prospects (naturally full of boast about my international internship scholarship … ooh, fancy!) and the eclectic, ever-buzzing city of Barcelona seems a distant yet definite buzz in the background. Actually – it feels like I’ve awoken from one of the deepest, most amazing afternoon naps, having dreamt of a faraway place that is both magical and challenging. On occasion I find myself responding to someone in Spanish, or ordering a café con leche (coffee with milk), or even greeting someone in Portuguese… Then I just chuckle like a madman and make as if it’s the most normal thing on earth.
In my four month journey in Europe I was lucky enough to visit four countries: Portugal, Spain, Andorra (yes, it’s a country…) and Holland. And that was the most amazing aspect of the Adelante scholarship: the fact that I could visit four countries in one go. I would literally hop from graffiti-filled crinkle-cut streets in Lisbon to a buzzing ants nest in Barcelona to a cheesy, snowy and very Dutch Amsterdam.
Apart from that, I now have a very extensive photographic and writing portfolio due to www.partyearth.com. I have literally seen the inside of almost every social hot spot in Barcelona – from quaint little coffee shops to crazy drag bars to sports loving beer gardens. Yep, I’ve seen it all…
Sara – I am ever grateful for your kindness and patience with me over the three months I interned at PartyEarth. You have pushed me, challenged me and ultimately helped me become a better writer, and, more importantly helped me face some of my fears. Thanks to you I have experienced some of my best nights in Barcelona and met some of the craziest, coolest people. Thank you.
Kimberly, Ellie and Alicia from Adelante – a thousand and more thank you’s for choosing my application for the Adelante internship scholarship. I don’t think you will ever realize the extent of how much this opportunity meant to me. Thanks to you I was able to see the world and go on a much needed journey of self-exploration. Thank you for your constant support and advice during the internship and especially your keen interest in my progress.
And lastly, thank you to my friends abroad for making my trip the epic adventure it was. Kerry Murray and Luis Piteira for their hospitality and general tourguidedness. Not to mention some of the MOST DELICIOUS meals I gorged on. And Luis, thanks for taking a punch in my honour – I will never forget that (ps. Don’t tell Kerry I brought it up… tsk tsk…). Fabio – for showing me the best night in Lisbon, for taking the time to make sure I get on the right bus to the airport and letting me wear your bicycle chain as a necklace to the club. And a whole lot of other things. Mayumi – my traveling buddy and shoulder to cry on when the longing for home got too much. I will drink lots of cervesa in your honour and cannot wait for the day you visit me in South Africa. Remember when things get tough: Que sela sela! Andrew and Charlie – thanks for the dangerous amounts of gin (otherwise known as Mother’s Ruin) you’ve poured down my throat, as well as all the card games, crazy dinners and dance moves you’ve shared with me. Thanks to you I saw a very different side to Barcelona! Gorka – even though we sometimes struggled to communicate, you always included me into your plans and made sure that I was OK. Thanks for showing me the most beautiful square in Barcelona: Placa de Sant Felip Neri. Carlos – for helping me with my Spanish and for walking with me through the big city and showing me things I would never have seen on my own. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you before Amsterdam… You will have to come and visit me. Sarah – you crazy, crazy girl. That night out in Amsterdam will go down in (my) history as one of the best nights ever. I have no idea how you managed to go to work the next day… Big-ups. I can’t wait for the next time.
And lastly, thank you to everyone, all my friends and family and strangers who have shown me their support in voting for, and endlessly promoting my campaign to be awarded the scholarship. There are 2000 people out there who voted for me and that are the reason why I got to have this crazy, inspiring and life-changing experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
More Amsterdam pictures: