The Observer

Snapshots of Bilbao, Spain

During each major transition in my life, I have found a need to document as many moments as possible — after struggling to convey how I felt through words, I turned to photography.

Bilbao%2C+Spain+is+located+in+the+northern+tip+of+the+country+and+is+known+to+be+a+place+where+Spanish+seniors+spend+their+retirement.
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Snapshots of Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao, Spain is located in the northern tip of the country and is known to be a place where Spanish seniors spend their retirement.

Bilbao, Spain is located in the northern tip of the country and is known to be a place where Spanish seniors spend their retirement.

CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

Bilbao, Spain is located in the northern tip of the country and is known to be a place where Spanish seniors spend their retirement.

CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

Bilbao, Spain is located in the northern tip of the country and is known to be a place where Spanish seniors spend their retirement.

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One year ago, I was stepping onto a red-eye flight leaving for Lisbon, Portugal. My ultimate destination was Bilbao, Spain, where I would be living and studying for the next six months. If my nerves about moving to Spain were not enough, I was now preparing for seven long hours in a seat that did not recline.

                                                                                                                   CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

I had only ever experienced a similar level of anxiety two years before, as I made my first ever major move to start school at Fordham. Moving across the country from New Mexico to New York had been a monumental change, but nothing could prepare me for life in a new country where my second language was their first.

                                                                                                       CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

During each major transition in my life, I have found a need to document as many moments as possible — often through writing. After struggling to convey how I felt through words, however, I turned to photography.

                                                                                                                   CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

These photos were taken in Bilbao, a quiet, green city on the northern tip of Spain. Comparable to West Palm Beach in Florida, Bilbao is a retirement destination for Spaniards looking to escape busy city life. For that reason, I found myself focusing primarily on seniors and their caretakers in my photos. At any hour of the day, I could find a group of retired men and women sitting outside the local bar.

                                                                                                       CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ

Being around an older population revealed a great deal about my own lifestyle and the value in slowing down to appreciate the world around me. Bilbao taught me to be more carefree and to add a little more of the stereotypical Spanish lifestyle into my own — focusing more energy on spending time with loved ones, taking well-deserved breaks and, of course, drinking more café con leche.

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Snapshots of Bilbao, Spain