In a state of what can only be described as quasi- boredom, (which, I can proudly say, has been a rarity for the past few weeks) I was flipping through my old pictures in iphoto: “senior spring!” “Honduras Spring Break” “Summer Road trip 07” and of course “Study Abroad Sights”. Those of you who know me well, or those of you who read my blogs but don’t know me (which I think is equally awesome), you know how I felt about my semester in Granada. And as I was looking over those photos, I braced myself for the sadness I usually experience, the tug in my heart, the pull back to spain, and the frantic rearrangement of plans to see when the enxt possible date of return could be. But it never came. What came instead was a grin across my lips, and a giggle. My heart, instead of pulled was lifted, my spirit brightened and the uncontrolled thought that rushed into my mind was “My god, that was the happiest time of my life.”
While I was living in Spain, I knew this day would come. I dreaded it. I hated the thought of being somewhere else (anywhere not spain) and thinking “those were the happiest days of my life”. But now I see that it was asilly thing to fear. I think back on those days now, after so many months of pushing the memories to the back of my mind out of fear, and I smile. They make me happy because I know I lived every day to its fullest. I was completely in touch with the universe, as I like to say, meaning I followed my intuition, I took risks, I dove in head first. And the sadness I long feared never came. And the desire to return, yes that’s still there. But I know that when the time is right, things will fall into place.
I love this about traveling the most. I love working through the struggles, and coming out stronger, looking in the mirror and not quite recognizing who this person is staring back at me. Where did that child go? That nervous college graduate? Who is this girl who talks to taxi drivers in spanish, asks strangers for directions, competes in international poetry slams, makes strangers cry? Who is this? And what does she want?
After looking at those photos, my memories of spain seem to have given me new fuel to continue. I dove in head first once, why not again? Complete reckless abandon- why not embrace it?
I’m looking at my european schedule with a feeling of complete excitement and overwhelming anxiety. But in the best way possible. So many places to go. So many poets to meet. I can honestly say that in a month from now, I have NO idea where I will be located. I’ve got a list of 5 potential countries, and I’m scattering them to the wind. How can I decide where I want to be when I’m on the other side of the planet? I’ll make my decision when I get there. If I’m going out early (thank you crappy American economy), I’ll go out with a bang.
A reinstatement of the primary mission: Meet as many poets and get inspired in uncharted territory. Culture shock and shoestring travel for 5 more months. Or until the money runs out. Let’s do this.