Posted By: Jack Mackey
Posted On: April 24th, 2017
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

The first stop on my Eurotrip was Spain, more specifically Barcelona. While I had planned this trip out with my two friends from Wesleyan, Chris and Ziggy, to my luck Victory Scholars Gene, Tanner, and T John would also be in Barcelona at the same time. This gave me a great opportunity to mesh the different worlds of my life. As we grow older we all have many different worlds and spaces that we operate in. Starting with primary school going up to high school, college, sports, work, etc. It is very healthy to keep these worlds separate, but every now and again you see them collide, and sometimes it's beautiful, other times…not so much. Fortunately for me, this trip to Barcelona would prove more toward the beautiful end of the spectrum. From the moment they met my friends from Wes and my fellow Victory Scholars got along like old friends, which makes sense considering I consider all of them close friends and if they get along with me, they most likely would get along with one another.

After pleasantries were exchanged we sat down for dinner at this lovely restaurant tucked away in a quiet neighborhood of Barcelona. As we decided on what to get off the robust menu, I peered over at the table next to us who had a dish that required you to cook the raw slices of meat right on the hot skillet on the table. I casually leaned back and inquired about the enticing meal. To my surprise all members of the table  were American and plenty willing to explain their meal and life in Barcelona. After their inquiries of what brought all of us to Barcelona we would come to discover that the one couple had been living in Barcelona for a few years now after living all over the world. We continued to exchange conversation detailing our lives both back in the states and abroad and completed the meal with a picture with our new friends and an exchange of contact information.

 That interaction is just a microcosm of what I have discovered to be one of the purest joys in life. We all are so wrapped up in the hustle of our lives, the rapidly changing technological landscape and materialistic aspirations that we often forget about the value of human interaction. The age we live in is one of optimizing and automating all human interaction and placing it online. Instead of sharing stories of our lives over a cup of coffee we rather share a post on Facebook. Instead of striking up conversation with a stranger we find attractive, we swipe right on tinder or double tap on instagram to let someone know how we feel. We as a people have developed so many impersonal ways to have human interaction, we have developed fail safes and protections on having awkward conversation or possibly a negative experience. My question is, what is so bad about falling on your face? I've noticed that so many people of of my generation(including myself) have become so afraid of rejection and not getting the result that they desire that they refuse to leave their comfortable shell. I have developed into the person I am today for a plethora of reasons but if there was one specific trend that I could pinpoint as the most influential trend to my personal growth, it would be the consistency of failure. I may not be the most successful person, but I will say that I would not be anywhere near where I am now without embracing failure, embracing disappointment. Basketball provides a real time example of embracing failure to become successful. The greatest players in history all have gone through a period of struggle and failure, the great ones come back ready for more. It is harder to see the tangible results of embracing failure in everyday life but once you become comfortable falling on your face, being rejected, accepting your emotions for what they are, the sooner you will become comfortable in your skin and more willing to keep pushing through whatever period of struggle you find yourself in.

After dinner wrapped up we parted ways and would go on to enjoy Barcelona for the next few days. Unfortunately my friend's passport was stolen on day two, but in what can only be called an Easter miracle, the Canadian embassy was able to produce a replacement passport in less than 24 hours and only delayed our trip by about 2 days. We used these two days to explore more of what I can comfortably call the most beautiful city walking city I've ever been to. After one more night of hanging with the other scholars they departed for another Spanish city and we took off (2 days free we had planned to) for Berlin. More to come on this.

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