We all know Barcelona as one of Spain’s biggest, most exciting cities. A city filled with good weather, beaches, the Sagrada Familia, and tapas. What people don’t really know is that Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region of Spain which in a way has its very own identity. I have now been in Barcelona for a little over 2 weeks and this past weekend we visited a few more places in the Catalan region. After visiting the cities of Reus, Girona, Lloret de mar, and a couple of smaller villages, I have noticed how passionate this area is about being Catalan. The best way I can compare this pride is to Texas. Texans like Catalans are proud to be different than their respective countries. In Texas you can see Texas flags all over the place and in Catalonia there are more Catalan flags than Spanish ones. However, the major difference is Catalans are serious about becoming independent. I have seen so many versions of propaganda all over the place saying “Vote Sí for independence” and have actually never seen one against the movement. After meeting some locals and hearing their point of view, the are very opinionated about this. I think this has been the biggest cultural experience of my trip. It has been incredible to see a region of the world express how proud they are about themselves. I’ve seen what appeared to be a Catalan wedding tradition where people were in large king and queen costumes and danced in a plaza while the rest of the wedding clapped and danced along. I have seen a tower of a medieval castle draped with a very large Catalan independence flag (which we learned is different than the official one given to the region by Spain). It is this experience with this culture that I will probably remember most from my study abroad experience. The opportunity to see some of history unfold and see a new way of life so prideful and happy to be different.