(Another post written on the road)
Three years ago today I woke up early in the Madrid Barajas International Airport. I only had a few short hours left in Spain at that point and I was fighting it. I didn't want my time here to end. Unfortunately, no matter what I did, everything around me (my one-way bus ticket to Madrid, my farewell Facebook status-haha-and return plane ticket to Dayton, OH) all declared that I had to leave. I technically could have stayed until mid-July (when my student visa officially expired) but with no place to live and a lot of luggage on me, in reality I could not stay. In many ways I was very sad to leave this beautiful country, all the friends I had made and all of the wonderful food behind. Nevertheless, I knew in my heart that I'd be back...but when, how? Well, those questions remained unanswered for long, long time. Until last winter, that is.
I couldn't tell you how happy I was when I bought my roundtrip tickets (wish it could have been a one-way~haha) to Sevilla in late March of this year. The feeling of joy that swept over me was incredible. I have honestly never been more excited about some thing or some place in my life until I lived in Spain. But, at that moment, after I clicked 'book,' that was it. I was returning! Even when I experienced trials and difficult times in my life over the last 3 years, the one thing that always got me through was my desire to go back to Spain one day. Now, if I could just snag the attention of one of these Spanish guys (or European, doesn't matter) and bring him back to the United States with me that would be fantastic! haha :P
Anyway, let's fast forward to May 22nd, 2013, shall we? I woke up in the train station in Málaga, Spain, after having spent the night there. Why? Well, I missed my bus out of here the day before and missed the window to book a seat on the last bus of the night. I did have a friend here but she was gone this past weekend and I found out that she lives in a small town outside of Málaga. Coincidentally it was the same small town I was staying in (Rincón de la Victoria) but I found that out later. :-/ By the time she got back to me, it was too late for me to stay with her. The bus station was way too small and a bit crowded already so I tried the train station. It was very clean, safe and spread out. The McDonald's, its free Wifi and I became reacquainted once again. I have missed more buses, trains (metro) and planes than I have missed you guys or my family this trip.
Haha, okay, that's only partially true. It sure feels like it though with how quickly time is passing by and how I keep finding myself in one new adventure after the next. My point is this, though: as I compare my life on this day three years ago to now, not that much has changed. I spent at least one day/night lugging all of my stuff around a city I was only vaguely familiar with, didn't sleep in a bed, had to charge my phone and computer in a public place with lots of people around and watching me and yet.....I'm still head over heels for this country and its people. I guess when you're in love you don't think clearly or logically all of the time. I haven't actually been in love before so I'm just going by what I've been told.
One thing I've been reminded about this time around is how versatile and flexible traveling has made me. Sure, I get just as riled up as the next person when I get to a gate or platform and either see a bus pulling away from me or a gate attendant shutting the doors to a plane I was supposed to be on. However, I don't like to remain angry for very long and would rather channel that energy into figuring out a Plan B or what the next logical step is from that point. I also don't mind if I have to sleep in my clothes, sleep in a booth with my scarf draped over my eyes in order to block out the harsh lighting, brush my teeth in a public bathroom and have to lug my rolling suitcase around a good portion of a popular European city. Nah, that last one gets extremely annoying I have to admit. I have small callouses on the palm of my hand from rolling that suitcase around if you can believe it! Overall, that's good news for my future husband though when (not IF, haha) we go trekking or backpacking around Europe or South America one day. Things have calmed down now that I'm rolling back into Sevilla this evening once again. Tomorrow my brother arrives (en route to Morocco) and I couldn't be happier!
Tomorrow is also a new day. A clean slate. Tomorrow is May 23rd and I get to wake up in Sevilla, Spain. Not Dayton, Ohio or Jacksonville, Florida -not that being in either of those cities is bad. It's just not my reality for a change. I get to wake up and continue my dream of being in Spain. It's not ending like it was three years ago. In many ways, it has just begun! Y al momento, estoy muy contenta. Un abazo a todos! :-)