Missing Barcelona

Maybe it’s the change of seasons.  Maybe it’s that we just booked a flight to visit next month.  Maybe I’m missing the feel of the warm sun on my face as I walked everywhere.  Maybe I’m missing the nostalgia of times past.  Whatever it is, I’ve been really missing Barcelona lately.

I think, in the end, it’s all these things and more.  We’re finally (after a year) feeling settled here in the Netherlands.  But something is missing.  I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly.  I just really miss Barcelona.

I miss the culture.  I miss the wholesome food.  I actually miss having to walk to 50 different stores to do my shopping.  I miss my friends, most of which (but not all) have since moved on themselves.  I miss our school.  And while there are certainly things I don’t miss, the things I do are winning right now.

I find it so strange that a place that was so challenging to me in so many ways, can win my heart over the way Barcelona did.  It’s a place that changed me.  It made me stronger.  It made me more open minded.  It became a piece of me.  That if given a choice, I would live there again, despite how difficult it was to integrate into society (not having total fluency in the language – conversational is not fluency), the daily frustrations of getting things done and so much more.  And yet, there are so many more pros than cons.

I never thought I would consider Barcelona to be my home.  In so many ways, it’s not.  But at the same time, looking back, I was happier there than I had been in the US in a long time and certainly happier than I have been here in the Netherlands. What is it about Barcelona that draws you in?  And can happiness define a place as home?

Yesterday morning, Liam and I walked into his school during a celebration. Welcoming us through the doors was a group of drummers.  In Barcelona, we would call them a batucada.  The memory of them made us both smile and we turned to each other and said “it makes it feel more like home, doesn’t it?”.  Home.  Could it be that’s because it was the last place we lived?  Or is it that we belong there more now than we do our actual home in the US?  There’s no way to really know that.

My hope… is that someday we will feel this same way about the Netherlands, missing it like we miss Barcelona now.  Until then…

Besos y abrazos,


5 thoughts on “Missing Barcelona

  1. Julie, I would like to thank you for such a great blog. We are an American family planning to move to The Netherlands July 2016. I am concedering the international school in Almere for my two children and thinking of living in Naarden. If I may ask can you please tell me the average rent for houses in that area. Thank you in advance for all of your help and good luck to you with everything.


  2. Dear Julie, thank you so much for your blog. It was very helpfull reading it as we are planning to move to The Netherlands come July 2016. We are an American family residing outside US. I have been looking into the International school in Almere and possibly residing in Naarden. Our B plan would be the. International school in Hilversum. If I may can you please tell me the average rent for houses in the area and what ever you can tell me in your spare time that could be helpful to us. Thank you in advance for all your help and good luck to you with everything. Akram


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