This post was contributed by Camille Evans
Before I talk about Barcelona, I need to give some background. My 2015-2016 year was incredible. I took a gap year at that time before going to college. To be completely honest, I didn’t feel, well… ripe enough for college. I had just gotten out of 13 years of school, and I needed a break.
It was something I always knew I would do, so I saved up the money and booked a one-way ticket to Paris. I ended up working for 7 months as an English teacher. Although I admire people who go to new countries with limited knowledge of the culture and language, that just wasn’t the case for me. Since my mom is French, I grew up going to France at least once a year since I was born, but this was the first time living in France, in Paris, all by myself. The best part? I didn’t even need a visa!
While in Paris, I had my first kiss. Yep, at 18 on the RER D (French public transport – so classy). This guy, like many French boys I’ve had the pleasure of having a fling with, was rather dramatique as the French would say. When he realized I was planning on going to Barcelona for 3 months, he “broke up” with me, because he was “too fragile” and all of these other excuses that he gave me with his broken English. Newly broken up and fabulous, I arrived in Barcelona. What was the first thing I did?
I *gasp* downloaded Tinder for the first time and started going on dates with various chicos guapos. Naturally, I thought the best way to get the French boy out of my system would be to go WILD! Well, PG wild. Remember, at this point in time, I had only ever kissed someone.
While scrolling through the app, one of my matches suggested we hang out. He also added in that he had a motorcycle. Mhm, I liked the way this sounded.
I thought, “What the heck? I’m abroad, I’ll tell my friends where I’m going. Everything should be alright, right?”
My best friend and I went to Summum, our favorite shot bar, to wait for my mysterious hombre.
Nervous, I was sitting with my back to the door. My friend was facing the door. Every few moments, she’d tap me and say, “Oh I see him! Wait, never mind.” So over her jokes, I started to chat with the bartender. She was a young woman who gave us some shots on the house. After a few, I began daydreaming about my date and whether or not he was cute.
Tall? Short? Eye color? All of these questions began to blur together. As I began answering the never-ending list of questions, the bartender glanced behind us, tapped me, and yelled with joy.
I think he’s here! Go. Go. Go!
My friend gave me a playful, yet stern “Good luck – don’t die” look. In a few moments, I was off. Struck with excitement, there he was – Eric, a tall, dark-haired boy with a blue motorcycle and two helmets.
Safety first, folks.
We greeted each other and hopped on his sleek motorcycle, my arms tight around his waist. For someone who had only ever kissed someone, putting my hands around some random Spanish man’s ab area felt like second base. As the wind brushed my hair, a voice in the back of my head said, “He could be a serial killer. Girl, what are you doing?” But honestly, most of my life felt like an uptight performance, so I was ready to enjoy my gap year and be carefree for a change.
He took me racing through the lamp-lit streets of the Eixample district. The air was slightly chilly, but the warmth from our bodies kept us feeling cozy. I have to admit, there’s nothing as adrenaline-filled as chilling on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle as you speed up the hills and admire the city.
After long-winded periods of swerving and exploring the most random parts of the city, we raced past Sant Gervasi and the funiculars. We got up to the base of Tibidabo Mountain, right below the Sagrat Cor Church, all lit up with orange light against the dark sky.
We parked the motorcycle and ourselves. A few feet away, we noticed a parked taxi cab bouncing slightly. “Guess they had the same idea,” Eric said. We sat down and talked for a bit. I stared at his face and into his eyes as he told me he was a lifeguard, but was currently out of work because it was early January. Then, we started to kiss.
Tbh, this guy wasn’t super hot, but I wanted to seize the moment, share it with a cool guy, and enjoy it for myself on top of this beautiful mountain.
The view of Barcelona from up here was next level. The Torre Glòries glowed with its reds and blues, the looming shadow of the Sagrada Familia haunted in the distance, the pitch-black ocean existed beyond imagination… I can remember it so vividly to this day. Kissing him felt like second nature. I was calm. I was comfortable.
Every so often, we’d have to stop because we heard rustling in the grasses below. When we looked over the ledge, there was a family of wild boar hanging out directly below our feet. They didn’t notice us. It was pretty funny and definitely cut the sexual tension. At the end of the night, he whisked me back down the mountain and to my host family’s house. In front of my Spanish family’s home, I kissed him goodnight a few times and went to bed.
Lying down right before the sun began to rise, I could not believe that I, of all people, had done such a wild and spontaneous thing.
Sometimes the moment feels so right and the person you’re with is cool, so you make a decision that makes for a fun memory.
To me, that’s what traveling is all about!
Meet Camille: Camille is a Boston-born French-American Global Studies student living in Vermont but whose heart belongs to Paris. She enjoys traveling, sunny winters, photography, playing autoharp, and infiltrating strangers’ parties to talk to anyone and hear their stories. Keep up with her on Youtube.