For spring break I was lucky enough to travel to Spain. I spent eight blissful days roaming the streets of Barcelona and Madrid observing the locals, enjoying the local cuisine and sipping on sangria. During my time there I came to the conclusion that everyone was in love.
Everywhere I went there were couples holding hands, exchanging kisses, and longingly gazing into each other’s eyes. This sight was both a little nauseating but at the same time very refreshing. I watched as boys around me purchased flowers at the market stand and brought them over to their girlfriends, and girls sharing bites of their warm flaky pastries with their lovers. I will never forget sitting with some of my friends enjoying brunch in a little café being surrounded by couples cozied up on the couches around us. For us it was a little uncomfortable watching these random couples express this intense passion for each other in such a public setting, however it was nice to know love still exists.
In the US people are often so busy, stressed, and attached to their technology that they tend to not live in the moment. It is a rare sight to see intense PDA while roaming the streets, and when you do encounter it, it is viewed as strange and gross.
For me the refreshing part was seeing people not care what others thought and just living in the moment, nonetheless there were many times that I wanted to shout, “Please get a room”. In my experience strolling through the streets of New York, I have witnessed couples eating while checking their emails, or texting, men paying more attention the their phones than the girls they are with and the miserable expressions on people faces as they walked side by side like robots.
The US is simply lacking the passion of Europe. We live in a culture where you don’t outwardly express your love, but rather you just assume the other person has feelings for you. In Europe there was no question that these couples were deeply, hopelessly, and passionately in love, but in America relationships in this modern world are more business casual than hopelessly romantic.
Is love the key to happiness? No one will really know the answer, but I will tell you one thing, I was seriously doubtful that love actually existed until I witnessed the magic. Maybe romance isn’t a thing of the past; maybe we simply don’t put in the effort or the passion to achieve it.