The Color Run by Desigual 2014

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Today I finally participated in my very first Color Run!!

I had heard about it back in April from some girls in my study abroad program, and jumped on the chance to join a team for 18 euros instead of 20 individual. Of course, as all attempts to organize a group activity with relative strangers go… they don’t. Nothing happened for a while, and I began spamming people I knew in an attempt to organize a team. One problem with life I encounter rather frequently is that I always have some crazy idea, people express interest, and nothing happens. Commitment seems to be a rather elusive animal for millennials. (An often futile hunt of which, admittedly, I am often guilty.) A shame, really. (The few people who are usually always up for whatever crazy activity I propose are unfortunately across the Atlantic Ocean. So maybe I’m a little homesick.) Fortunately, one of my new friends (Yixin) in BCN informed me that she is volunteering for the Color Run. At first I was heartbroken to find out that volunteering sign-ups were closed, but she informed me that the organizer was looking for more volunteers to fill some sudden openings!! Of course, I spread the word to a few friends, and signed up promptly.

A month and a whirlwind of other adventures later, the day was finally upon me! I woke up at 7AM on a Saturday to distribute T-shirts and participants packs at the giant Desigual 20 minutes from my house, and met this really cool Catalan Engineering freshman who speaks German, Catalan, Spanish, Chinese, English, and French. Are you kidding me? One definitively positive result of studying abroad is my newfound determination to learn as many languages as possible –– and, evidently, it is possible. Life goal: by the time I turn 25, I vow to speak Spanish, Chinese, English, French, and Italian. Four years is plenty to learn two more languages, no? Also, according to my talented new friend Luis, my “ghetto meter” is off the charts.

(follow me on Instagram @surelyxu)

photo 3I am definitely the happiest volunteer for the happiest 5k on the planet. 🙂

Sunday began as another sleep-deprived, adrenaline filled day as I slapped a temp tattoo on my thigh for the first time in about eight years and geared up like it’s 1989. I spent most of today (The Color Run) with my Catalan friend Laia, who has quickly become not only one of my best friends here, but one of the greatest people I have met… ever. Honestly, what I am most thankful for in this study abroad opportunity are the people. Fun fact: I rank people by which major life events I would invite them to. So far, I have future wedding guests from Italy, England, Morocco, China, and Spain (not to mention, of course, the wonderful Amurricans from my program: shout out to Manito, Karlita, and Rebecky.) 😉 I have met people during my travels that have influenced my life more in a few days or months than others have in years. It has truly taught me about the value of human interactions, and allowed me to reflect upon my priorities in life.

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If I recall, Laia and I first met a house party. She was the girlfriend of another friend of a friend (complicada, yo sé,) and we bonded almost immediately over our mutual appreciation of adventure and classic literature, and distaste for small talk. Although, in retrospect, we were making small talk about small talk. If you had asked me six months ago, I never would have expected to find essentially a carbon copy of me in Barcelona. (Well, I suppose that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the surprising experiences and revelations I have had in the past few months.) We both are disappointed in popular culture and the general behavior of our generation; are passionate about art, literature, and human rights; and both love travel, meeting new people, and have a great sense of adventure. Sometimes, people have told me that they sense something different when they’ve spoken to me. I never understood what they meant. After all… I’m only me. Always late to everything, always with my head in the clouds, bulldozing through life me. Yet when I spoke with Laia, I definitely felt it: a different aura. A feeling that this person is shining from the inside. I rarely feel that when interacting with another human being, yet it has occurred to me two other times in the past few months: a Dutch vagabond I met in Lisbon, and Thomas, my couchsurfing host in London. The feeling is a bit difficult to describe. It isn’t as if they are more intelligent, experienced, or accomplished than the majority of people I’ve met; rather, there is a distinctive spark within them that practically spills out when they speak. For Laia, it’s a definitive determination of her gaze. For the Dutch vagabond (whose name I forgot!!), it’s his easygoing mannerisms. For Thomas, it’s an ambitious twinkle in his eyes. (Even my boyfriend, Matt, has that gleam in his gorgeous blue eyes – okay, I have to admit to a severe positive bias.) If what people say is true, then I hope I have this spark. I hope I keep this spark and never let it die.

Well, as usual, my post seems to have gotten away from me. How did I get to talking about sparks in eyes from the color run? To wrap up… if you don’t know what The Color Run is, kindly exit your rock and google it. I was very luck to have participated in what I believe is the very first Color Run in Barcelona with one of my favorite people on the planet, who I am infinitely lucky to have gotten to know in these past four months. Now, I shall take an eight-hour nap and hopefully make it to class tomorrow morning. 😉 Perhaps another day I shall find the inspiration to catch up on some more severely overdue travel blogging.

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Here’s what I need to catch you up on, in this order: New York City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Venice, Padova, Sitges, Tarragona, London, Valencia, Waterloo, Brussels, Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, Cologne, Bonn, Reims, Paris, Tibidabo, Morocco, Sevilla, Girona, Besalú. (Wow, that’s a lot!!) Please follow me on instagram @surelyxu so you can actually get live updates of what’s going on in my life, because I am an absolutely terrible blogger.

… or just save the link if you care to see more frequent updates of my adventures, without the rambling. 😉

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