Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trip Reflections: Departure (a year ago today)

I journalled a bit this morning about the fact that this is the 1 year anniversary of when I left for Europe for a trip that ended up being 7 months long. I was jobless and homeless (by choice) and carefree as one can be at 51.... That journal entry is below. And above is the doodle I did today of me as I left Vancouver (click to enlarge it if you want to read the silliness)....

When I set out a year ago today, I really had no idea the future would take me, let alone this year. Would I stay a few months or a year? Would I come back at all? At the outset, the longer definitely seemed like the likeliest. I didn't know what to expect, where I was going (so to speak), nor who I would be when I got there. I really had no idea how I would change. Maybe I still don't really know, but at least I have some inklings.

It struck me today, when driving, that this time last year I was doing the final repack of my bag (backpack! ha! how naive I was ;-) and getting on my way to the airport. I was clueless but sure. I was exhausted but excited. I was shedding an old skin and walking boldly into the unknown. I, who had lived in fear for so much of my life - so risk adverse and with such a strong need to be in control - was really proving to myself how far my reinvention had gone, had come - I was coming into my own skin, finally and truly. Voila! Off into the unknown I go!

My first adventures included having to check the backpack I'd naively envisioned myself carrying onto the plaine (and needing to do a quick repack of essentials into a carry on)... that after already wondering how I'd be able to lug my pack through Europe (portents of things to come)... a strap breaking on my pack 5 minutes after I picked it up from the luggage carousel in Barcelona... realizing I'd forgotten to write down my hotel's address, trying (and succeeding) to get online in the airport to look it up... deciding to splurge on a taxi and being surprised to hear English music being played by a driver who largely spoke only Spanish... to arriving at my hotel to find that they didn't have my4-night reservation. Oh my.

The system my awesome travel agent had used had reserved a room in a hotel of the same name somewhere else in Spain, God knows where. But, alas, they had 1 room available for 1 night. 150E, I think. Let the adventures begin!

I was really not daunted, mostly just amused. How well my past travel adventures (mostly my New York ones) had prepared me to know I could handle it. It would all work out. I'd be fine.

I paid for the room, took the key, walked up the stairs - or, should I say, lugged, or schlepped, my bag up the stairs, found my room and opened the door.
LAST YEAR: here is my first post from Barcelona.


Anonymous said...

~ I love today's entry commemorating your vagabond anniversary ~ and the accompanying sketch/doodle...
especially the mysterious "stowaway" ~~~~~~
Cheers XOX Tish

Roberta said...

Read this to my mom last night, and showed her the doodle in my sketchbook... she loved it, and said it was the best doodle I'd ever done... hee! ;-)