A visit to Barcelona, Spain or Espana as called by the Spaniards, was special because it marked my 1st trip outside the United State of America my homeland. Living in the US you always think of yourself as Black, White, Asian, Latino but never really American, that all changed while filling out my immigration form and writing USA in the origin country space. Disembarking from the plane and walking up the jet way, thru the terminal hall while reading advertisements in Spanish built excitement as I reached immigration. The following moments unfolded being asked; how long are you staying, why and whom you come to visit and finally a flip of a page to virgin passport page culminated with a fresh stamp and enjoy your stay. The day was March 08, 2005 when I first landed on foreign soil and it would mark the beginning of a journey. World Wide Nate was not thought of at the time but my desire to see the world was in full bloom. I came to Spain for two reasons; to visit my friend Akasha, a high school friend and visit my cousin Brandon playing basketball in San Sebastian. Akasha was studying abroad for grad school and that meant I had a free place to stay. I’m always trying to save a dollar or Euro in this case and I welcome sofas, futons and sleeping mats. The key is not to sleep much and you never think about where you have to sleep.
Armed with a sense of direction, beginners Spanish and Akasha’s email instructions on how to meet her I set off with my luggage and excitement for what was to come. It was shocking at the time that I was one of two black people at the baggage claim but has become common to me these days but that is for another blog. If I remember correctly I took a bus to Plaza Cataluña, the busiest square in Barcelona and transportation hub home to the main subway junction, three metro lines, city railway lines and city buses meet here. The bus ride was amazing; I was in awe of the architecture, small cars and the amount of scooters people drive. The city streets had massive round a bouts and boulevards.The sun was shining bright with a bitter chill of the March temperature but my adrenaline was flowing and I was glowing. As I stood in the plaza admiring the historic buildings that surrounded me I felt accomplished. Spain was under my feet and an internal shout of viva Barcelona reverberated through my body.