It was a bitter sweet goodbye as I left the Santander airport for the one in Barcelona. The summer went by so quickly, I hardly noticed how much my Spanish had improved, or how fond I had grown of the people there. Especially of one person in particular. It seems traveling women in my family are fated to meet someone special on our journeys. But romance is not a topic I intend to attend to here.
I was apprehensive as I got off of the plane, not sure if things would be alright, if coming back for the fall semester was what would be best for me. But the second I was on the street of my host family's apartment, I felt a sort of relief. I knew I was where I belonged. A hug from my host sister told me that they thought so too.
Of course, back home, September 11 marks a devastating day in our recent history. It is one of the few moments in recent history that everyone in the USA felt truly united. But here in Barcelona, September 11 is celebrated as the day of Catalonia. It represents their want to be severed from Spain.
People should be free to speak the languages and practice the religions they choose, and should not feel the need to seek out rivals or enemies. There should be no "them against us" situations. Just "us" against whatever mother nature throws our way. I believe cultural heritage and pride in that heritage are important. Especially if we are to keep open minds. But we must not be so prideful that we stifle the chance at unity, the chance for harmony. I take pride in acknowledging that I am a member of the human race. I hope someday everyone will be able to put first that they are human, and second that they are of a specific nation.