I’ve returned to the Arab bar tonight after over a month of absence. I like how the dim lights combine with the vibrant colored walls and Moroccan lamps, and the clouds of sweet smelling flavored tabacco being smoked from Hookahs. Not going to lie, the free drinks are nice, especially since I’m broke, and it almost makes me overlook the coke addicts that hang out in the shadows of upstairs corner. I sip on my strong Bacardi and coke and make eye contact with the 16 yr old next to me smoking a cigarette while waiting for his Kebab to finish. He’s short 30 cents, but Kal the owner lets it slide. Its been awhile since I’ve been here like I said. I almost feel guilty about that. But not really. Kal’s brother,…the fat hairy one, its hard to remember names I can’t pronounce, just gave me a lecture about not coming in to say hi. This is a good place,…they are good people, but its important to not get to comfortable, to relaxed.
Not only back to the Arabs, but also to the blog. I needed to take a vacation from it. Like one of my favorite songs says, ” I temporarily forgot there were better days to come”. I had reached the point where It came around to I was taking long hot showers at night just so I could cry and not hear it or sense the tears on my cheeks. it. It felt as pathetic as it sounds, and gave me really dry skin. I had weeks pass where I allowed myself to be consumed by sadness. But a sadness without reason.
Honestly, I had been lying. Not in a compulsive sort of way, more in the form of little white lies. But lies are lies no? I was telling myself to be happy. That I AM happy. Only happy things lay ahead of me. But I wasn’t happy.
It was mainly brought on my being single, and trying to still talk with ex. You can’t have things the way you always want them though. We had been considering meeting over the weekend in another city, but plans changed. I changed them and that didn’t go over well. Better that way.
Considering after that, I indeed was not going to meet him over what would have been last weekend, I had to then make my own plan. I couldn’t stay in the mental state I was. A woman should never give a man the power to make her miserable. Its not worth it. Eventually you have to remember your own strength and value and that life continues and you can move with it or watch it pass as you sulk. I had my few weeks of desperation but I had to end it and shake off the things that were holding me back.
It happened to work out nicely that I had a few days off of school for a National holiday and was able to have a 4.5 day weekend. I really wanted to use that to my advantage and so I decided after staying in Malaga a night with Tina I would go to Sevilla. I live in Andalucia, debatably the best part of Spain, and I must see Granada, Cordoba, and Sevilla. Sevilla happens to be the furthest away from me, so I wanted to go there first. I used CouchSurfing, for my first time in Europe. For those unfamiliar with the system, its an online travel network where you can meet, host or be hosted by people all over the world. I’ve been apart of the site since 2009, and have surfed in Mexico and Canada, and have hosted and met people in Green Bay as well. Its my preferred way of traveling now. I feel its very important to go beyond the role of tourist, taking pictures and visit ing sites, and getting to know something about the people and places you visit. It makes the world smaller and friendly. Julio, my host, graciously accepted my last minute request to stay with him.
Thursday afternoon I set off for Sevilla, with blurry memories from the previous night of drinking with the gang in Malaga. There was a bus I could have taken, but I wanted to take a train, its so much more comfortable. It was on this particular train ride between cities that I had a few realizations. Maybe not on par with Siddhartha traveling through India,…but substantial for me. They are, but not limited to the following:
1. I am in Spain. Holy shit.
2. Spain is a breathtakingly beautiful country.
3. I am trying to fabricate all these elaborate plans, to forget my problems and do things like run away to Istanbul and then escape to France, and I’m completely over looking what is all around me.
4. As of December 13th I’m 24.5 years old. I have only experienced half of this year so far! There is still so much more to do!
5. Im single.
6. Being single can be a really great thing. I wasn’t thinking about the positives of that, only the negatives.
7. I have the such an opportunity to do things I won’t be able to once I return to the states.
8. If I am to make the most of this experience I have to start by today, and stop putting off tomorrow.
9.I worked really hard for this and I’d only be cheating myself to not enjoy and get the most out of it.
10.I am excited about life and eager to live it.
Not to bad for a 2.5 hour train ride. I mean I really thought these things! It seems so simple when I look at it written in front of me and now its hard to think that I had ever forgotten or over looked these points some how! But I’m ready to really make the most of everything and appreciate what it is I have. This is the attitude I had when I arrived in Sevilla on my ‘first trip’ around Spain.
I got to the train station around 5:30pm. Julio was right there to meet me, and we were introduced on the short tour to his house. He had good vibes off the bat. We dropped my stuff off at his place and I walked him to his work. He works 6pm-12am so from that time I basically was free to wander around the town. I really enjoyed that, and I did so without a map, without a plan, a destination. I walked to walk and absorb what I could from this new place. Sevilla is pulsing with life and energy. There were so many narrow hidden streets to wonder and to enjoy their beauties. Also, there was such an enormous amount of young good-looking men everywhere, literally, and not going to lie the eye candy was a nice break from what I get in Torrox. So me and my Nikon (it still doesn’t have a name!) went where ever my feet took me. I did that Thursday night, as well as Friday night. I never entered any of the sites, like the famous Alcazar or the Cathedral, but I saw them…I was more on a mission to explore and enjoy more than to conquer a list of places seen. Besides I’m coming back. During the trip I was also able to see a live Flamenco show, visit one of the most beautiful contemporary art museums ever, share Birthday celebrations with my host! : ) go out to a few bars and clubs, try lots of tasty tapas like the local pringa,..and venison stew, meet some really cool people, and take some nice pictures, learn some history, and do some shopping. It was a fantastic trip and I left really happy to have gone and eager to come back.
I guess that trip has been the start of a new set of realizations for me. I’ve put what ever kind of sadness to rest and I openly embrace my life and what is in it, and wanting to take it to the fullest. I’ve made some small changes in the daily. For example I’ve taken the step to enjoy the simple landscape a bit more. If I don’t take a bike to school I will take a bus down, (because I don’t like waking up earlier than needed) but I will walk the 3-4 mile walk back home from school. Yeah sure it takes like 2 hours, and some literal mountain climbing, but Im outside with an amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea and the sprawling Sierra Nevada mountain range, also during the time of day when the sky starts to turn shades of pink and purple. Its incredible. I never see anything like that in Green Bay. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. The absolute simple things that I’ve been taking for granted I will no longer over look.