I made it to Barcelona! My flight was about as good as can be expected for eight hours. Through my window I got to see the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Mediterranean Sea. I can check both off my bucket list. Me being the geography nerd that I am, also loved seeing the coast line of Spain. Something about the crisp line where the blues become tan and brown make a coast line look like it was painted, too beautiful to be real. From the air and now from the people in the airport, Spain is a beautiful country. One which I intend to spend more time exploring. The inflight food was pretty good. The service was great. I watched Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Eat, Pray, Love (of course), and the new Beauty and the Beast. All three are amazing movies about women challenging the norm so naturally they’re my favorite. I unfortunately only slept for four of the eight hours. I was lucky enough to have an entire row to myself making it possible to lay down but vertically or horizontally those seats are not ideal for sleeping.
I have officially gotten my first passport stamp and making me a foreign traveler for last three hours. I cannot believe how surreal it still feels. In the three hours I’ve been in Spain I have already gotten lost, asked for help, starred at an information screen for an embarrassingly long amount of time, ordered a much needed coffee, and ultimately found my footing and where I need to be. I have heard countless languages including Russian, Spanish (which is spoken so beautifully here), Arabic, and French. Which make this airport feel more like an organism than a building. It has a pulse. People flow through the hallways and doors like blood through its veins and the languages people speak are the breath.
As I sat and drank my coffee I listened to a myriad of conversations going on around me. Not a single one of them in English. It was beautiful. I had no idea what the subject of any of the conversations were but I could tell it was something good by the passion I heard in their voices. The diversity of this airport is amazing. It’s something a person wouldn’t see that at the airport in Kansas City and something I have never experienced. I also love that as an English speaker I’m not looked sideways at because I’m not speaking the local language. This presumption coming from living in a very homogenous area my entire life. My questions is for those who speak any languages besides English that have traveled to the US…Did you receive the same treatment? Could you have walked into a Starbucks and asked for a coffee in your home language without the barista on the other side of the counter blankly staring back at you? My guess is no.
I believe this is a huge area the US falls short. Not only does the US not promote students to learn a new language from an early age but as a country we also fail to celebrate diversity. We are a county of immigrants that would rather ignore, suppress, and discriminate against those who do not fit with the western persona. Of the many goals I have for this blog one in particular is to show people how beautiful diversity is and how it should be celebrated not shamed.