I returned from a two-month adventure in Europe (+ Morocco) and a two-and-a-half-week road trip of the USA at the end of March, feeling my wanderlust satiated for the time being but also feeling like I am already itching for a new adventure ... so much so I haven't sat still to edit through photos from my travels or truly reflect in the ways that I want to.
Traveling is an exceptionally introspective thing for me - a high-speed way to learn about myself and the people I share the earth and this life with. A reverent thing, like a novel you've been meaning to read for years and finally opened and finished in one day, feeling full and aloft with new ideas and new appreciations for what you have and what you don't.
Being in Spain alone for nearly a month gave me something I didn't know I would receive - an appreciation, yes, but for the love I have already had and left behind on U.S. soil. What a silly thing, to need to fly across the world alone to appreciate what you have right in front of you on a regular basis? Silly, yes, but real all the same.
I love to travel, I love traveling alone, but I also love to love... I want to open my arms up and hug the people I love, I want them near me, I want cheek kisses from my girlfriends, I want to call my mom on the phone, and I want someone to squeeze tight and to make my face turn red as a plum when I finally see them for the first time in a month in the Lisbon airport. I just want to love. I want to travel, that want will never die. But I want to love whilst doing so, not fly (to Barcelona and) away from it.
What a trip.
Until I get around to the rest, here are a few favorite scenes and moments.
Barcelona, my first stop on this adventure, I cried on the plane to and shivered when we landed but, inspired by a handful of new friends and fellow travelers I found my way.. I've had an idealization of Barcelona for whatever reason, and to be here was like fulfilling a dream, or a promise to myself, rather. The city was cold but the people were warm. I never planned an itinerary but instead walked ten or so miles (I should be using kilometers I suppose) a day and that - the city - was enough of an attraction to see in itself. La Sagrada Família can only be understood while you stand inside of it, watching the colors of the interior change as the light changes like a moving paining or a breathing building. I've yet to find the proper words for this, but it exemplifies architecture as art.
Sevilla was my postcard-perfect-picture of how I had always daydreamed Spain to be, and it surpassed any expectation I could have had. Warm sun, warm people, so many new friends to meet, flamenco, music, color and the southern Spain SUN. The Alcazar and gardens were a dream. I wandered here until the sun set with new friends from my hostel, writing poems, taking photos, picking oranges and ending the day with tapas and wine. My postcard perfect Spain.
Ronda (+ surrounding towns and pueblos blancos), where I spent a beautiful week staying by myself at Casa Duende Del Tajo, the most perfect hostel/hotel with the best view in town (below!) via the magic of Workaway - volunteering my time for a few hours a day (aka, go on city tours, take photos and talk to my hosts about traveling... work? hardly) in exchange for free food and a free stay. Ronda was a challenge because for the entire week stay I didn't have a single conversation in fluent English, and became so frustrated - but also humbled by - language. My Spanish is enough to get by but not enough to make a joke, understand sarcasm, make a genuine friend... and being unable to communicate on a deeper level with anyone around me for a week was enlightening, in an exhausting way! I have a new appreciation for language, and for those who speak multiple. Communication is invaluable. Anyway: Ronda is beautiful and the most underrated town to visit. The epitome of Andalusian charm.
Gracias por leer, te amo y hasta pronto con mas picturas de Morocco, Portugal, France, Bruges, Amsterdam y Berlin...