It’s been a month since I crossed the pond from Europe to America. Now that I am sitting in a comfortable air-conditioned kitchen, and eating ice-cream made with cashew milk, I can write what I remember. It was Friday, June 9th. I left home at 7:00 am and met Sarah at the Madrid airport for our flight to Milan. When the plane landed and they opened the doors, I heard a musical “Buon Giorno!” that immediately put me back in touch with my love for Italian. I was shy to try what little I could remember from the college classes … Continue reading Cinque Terre: 16 long hours and a fleeting day.
The sun is out. It has not been bright in Madrid for weeks. This is really unusual, Madrid. Last year, I hardly ever heard the sound of rain here. But now I hear it a lot. I have always felt European rain is pretty – a romantic touch. I am grateful for the wide bed I get to write this post from, with a big window, in a blue painted room. I am drinking this eucalyptus, mint, malva, thyme tea that’s supposed to boost my immune system. I got the flu last week. November was a strange month. I encountered all … Continue reading Hope
“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
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)
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
“Women and children first!” I blurted, recreating the scene from Titanic. Kristen was rubbing my numb fingers, but there is nothing we could do about the stabbing pain in my feet. It was freezing hell. Flashback to that morning and we were eating croissants by the fire, laughing at our dumb jokes. “TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU!” I was back to Navacerrada for a snowshoe hike. It was the Schmid route (same one from 2 blog posts ago). This time there was SO MUCH MORE snow, though. It was not only snow…it was hail, too – a first time for … Continue reading Is this my life?
It was magic. A moment that balanced me out, and unraveled my existence into something that made sense. Suddenly everything made sense, or maybe it was the opposite. Once again I was walking in darkness. Lee, Lim, and I headed to Park Güell a little past 7 am. We went early because we heard it is all free before 8 am. Lee had gone before, but only to the free zone. Lim…I am not sure. Her stay in Barcelona was a little longer than expected, and she was anxious to move on to Portugal. But for me, this park (along with Sagrada … Continue reading Day 3: freedom and choice
Another fall from grace. I dread getting blindsided by suffering…any suffering! Even the kind where you smack your little toe against furniture. It unsettles every bone in my body as I go from cloud 9 to somewhere near the end of a black hole in the galaxy. Excuse me, I’m getting carried away. But yes, it sucks to be in pain. The morning after the fall my muscles ached, and I replaced breakfast for a coffee and then chamomile tea with honey. “That should carry my anxiety through the day,” I thought. Here’s the tough side of moving abroad by yourself: I’ve only been here … Continue reading The Sight That Saves Me
“You sold your soul to the devil when you put on your first pair of Jimmy Choo’s, I saw it.” – The Devil Wears Prada, 2006 On the third day in Italy, I had come to realize two important things: 1) I had to give up my usual vegetable intake for carbs, 2) I was being absorbed by the fashion. I have always felt a certain allergy to malls. A two hour shopping trip is more than enough for me to call it a day, and go home to my bed. But there was something so addicting about the … Continue reading Leave the crumbling walls.
I needed time to breathe. I needed time alone. But mostly, I needed poetry. I had an aching need for beauty. I took myself out on a little adventure, and went to Parque El Retiro (retiro means retirement). This park … Continue reading I needed poetry.