Delicious Ambiguity

It stopped me in my tracks. It smelled like God himself in this street. I was walking down Rúa da Raiña in Santiago de Compostela. My legs were still hurting from completing 5 full days on the Camino. Bradley was going to the bus station to buy us tickets back to Madrid that same day. I was going back to Pensión Ramos to pack our things and shower before check-out time. In these dark Camino times, I became undoubtedly addicted to showers. Real showers.     Our pensión was truly great. I recommend it if you want to stay near … Continue reading Delicious Ambiguity

Camino de Santiago de Compostela: A Diary

 “Every part of my body hurt. Except my heart.” – Cheryl Strayed   DAY 1 – Madrid to Lugo to Sarria “I cannot wait to be immersed and consumed by nature.” I made myself stop by a bench in front of the bus station and write this down, right under the red pen title: Camino Day 1. I had taken a Blabla Car from Madrid to Lugo, and now I needed to catch a bus to Sarria where I would meet British Bradley. He had started the Camino a couple days before me in Ponferrada. Doing the Camino together was … Continue reading Camino de Santiago de Compostela: A Diary

Breakfast in Budapest (and other meals)

I had no idea what I was eating. It was like a giant pretzel. There was no coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. “Sometimes I forget I have an addiction,” I had told the girls. It is not until I get that mid-morning headache after not getting my early morning cup of coffee that I realize how dependent I’ve become on it. Our biggest challenge in Budapest was finding a place where we could grab a quick, to-go breakfast while rushing to our first tourist attraction. This day we were headed to the Jewish Quarter with a 2 1/2 hour free walking … Continue reading Breakfast in Budapest (and other meals)

Enchantment

Simone opened the door to our Airbnb, her hair wet from the shower, and a lose dress. “Of course she already looks like she lives here,” I thought. She had arrived a few hours before us. Sarah, Kristen, and I flew together, coincidentally sitting next to each other. These three girls are my Girl Power Team while living in Madrid. This trip was overdue. We decided to travel together during a late lunch at De Patata Madre in Bilbao, Madrid. Kristen and Sarah had spontaneously bought cheap flight tickets with a sketchy sounding airline: Wizzair. Simone and I spontaneously decided to join, though this city … Continue reading Enchantment

Day 4: it does not last forever.

It does not last forever. Nothing, that is. It hit me in a moment that I do not remember if it was a day or two ago. I was walking the familiar school hallway I have walked for four months now when I remembered the thing I had forgotten: sooner or later…it will end. My time here, my contract with the school, my living in Madrid, my being an English teacher. I was not trying to get myself depressed. The thought came to me all by itself, and it got me present. I’ve been delaying blogging about my last day in … Continue reading Day 4: it does not last forever.

Free.

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” – Elizabeth Gilbert Though the adventure was not over, leaving Galway city was a bit too heart-breaking. I was able to do so many outdoor activities there, going places where I could merge with nature…The air was so pure…I doubted Dublin had as much to offer that would make me feel so much peace. I arrived and found my hostel faster than I thought I could. Once I went to my room, I was ready to go back to Galway. Not that … Continue reading Free.

The thrill of getting close to the edge & making friends

I got as close to the edge as I possibly could without falling over. 300 feet high, I was sitting on the cliffs of Aran Islands (Dun Aengus Fort). The wind was not as strong, but it still took me a while to trust it would not blow me away over the edge. Although the cliffs are not as impressive as the Cliffs of Moher, it is thrilling to be able to walk to the very edge. The day was dark and cold; it is the first day I have had to wear gloves and as many layers of clothing … Continue reading The thrill of getting close to the edge & making friends

One Joyful Spin!

  I put one foot in front of the other, and I ended up on top of a mountain, mesmerized, in Ireland. How the heck did I end up here? Now I understand why my dad used to always tell me, “Do not limit yourself.” Because when I don’t…I can end up anywhere…like in Ireland, living a dream, hiking 1,420 feet, in a gorgeous island filled with flowers and horses, and falling in love with a brown cow. This is all real life. Once I could not find a place to stay in Dublin, I extended my stay in Galway … Continue reading One Joyful Spin!

Ireland, I believe in your enchanting magic.

   I am a mess. I have no idea how to write this entry. But here is my best attempt at organized chaos. TRAVELING TO GALWAY: My flight was uneventful and sleepless. But once I got off the plane and realized I was on Irish land, I felt tremendous relief…which made me laugh. I guess in the back of my mind there was an irrational fear that my trip was not real. As if once I got to the plane they were going to say to me, “JK! You did not really book this trip, you dreamt it. Get off … Continue reading Ireland, I believe in your enchanting magic.