” Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell
This is by far my longest post to date, but it’s been about two months since I last wrote and I have to play catch up so bare with me 🙂 Being home, back in the United States, it’s been hard for me to muster up the words to express how I have been feeling.
The truth is, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I left the United States for Europe in 2015 to find a missing piece of myself. In Spain, I found that missing piece I was desperately searching for. I finally filled the endless gap between my heart and my mind.
I discovered the small things in life that made me happy. I felt free to do all the things that I truly deeply loved that would have otherwise been suppressed when I was in Colorado. Barcelona was the place that supported my hobbies and fueled me to dive into my deeper self.
During these past 8 weeks being back, I have been at a complete loss for words with no motivation to write. Without my constant self-exploration in Europe, I was convinced that I no longer added value to the blogging world and had nothing interesting to say.
But then I reminded myself of the many wonderful people I have come into contact with through my writing; the amazing people who told me that I inspired them and motivated them. Those memories I cherish and they give me motivation.
No matter where I am located in the world geographically, whether it be here in the good ol’ U.S.A, the streets of Lisbon, or back in my small neighborhood of Clot in Barcelona, I am now and will always be and explorer, a wanderer, and an adventure seeker.
With that being said, I still have a lot to share about where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. I have made a commitment to myself, and to those of you who have supported and motivated me, to continue writing regardless of the many obstacles, and chronic spurts of laziness, I come across along the way.
In years, months, and days leading up to my departure for Europe I found myself exhausted with my country. I was tired of the ignorance, and the arrogance that filled it, but most of all I was just tired of feeling like I was missing out on what the rest of the world had to offer – cheating myself.
As I talk about in many of my blogs, I was tired of the American way of life; living just to work and make money and mold into what society deems acceptable. To me, that just wasn’t what life was about.
When I moved to Barcelona I was free of that feeling – being trapped. I didn’t have a worry in the world that couldn’t be solved by a bike ride or a day at the beach.
I spent most of my weekends hopping on trains and planes, and my days were always filled with new and fun places to explore. There were always festivals and art shows and I was meeting people from all over the world. It was everything I wanted.
My time in Spain, although 13 months later, felt like it lasted no more than a blink of an eye. I wasn’t ready to give up my new lifestyle, my boyfriend at the time, my friends, or the new and improved me.
When I first arrived in back in Colorado, I felt sick – weak. I didn’t know where to start or where to begin; if I should start looking for a job, call up my friends, or just take a nap. It took me weeks to grasp the thought of unpacking my belongings because I wasn’t ready to accept that I was here to stay.
” Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucious
The first few weeks I stayed busy catching up with my friends and family. I didn’t have a second to breathe or think about building my new life, so I just pushed reality aside and told myself I’d be back at the beach soon.
Slowly but surely I began to feel heavy, things started to feel real. My days were slammed doctor appointments, job hunting, calls from insurance companies, bills, and car troubles.
Everything and everyone was exactly the same; all my friends, my family, and everything I have known was untouched, nothing had changed. I spent my free time in the same bars with the same people, doing the same things.
I was driving down the same unfinished highways and sitting in the same traffic. It felt like I never left. I began to panic.
I just couldn’t believe that it was real, that I was really back in Colorado to stay, right where I left off. My home in Barcelona wasn’t my home anymore, my bike, and my life there no longer belonged to me. I just felt stripped naked. I felt lost.
Although everything seemed the same here, I was not. Unlike Colorado, I did change while I was away. I am not the same person I was a year ago, and there was no way I was going to return and live my life like nothing ever happened.
I wanted to take what I learned abroad and somehow implement that lifestyle in my American life. I promised myself to live my life here, In the U.S. just as I did there − as a traveler, and as an outsider. That meant, talking with strangers, picking random places on a map to explore, and appreciating the little things around me.
To do that I had to have an open mind, and treat my country as I would any other place that I would travel to; without judgment and preconceived ideas. Believe me, it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
With that mindset, I have found that some of the world’s most beautiful treasures have been right here all along. People travel all over the world to see what I have been trying to escape from my whole adult life. I took it all for granted.
I ate peaches in Palisade and hiked the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I saw the breathtaking views in Yellowstone National Park, explored the Maroon Bells in Aspen, watched the sunset in Moab and climbed the great Sand Dunes.
I relaxed in Telluride, went camping for my first time and cuddled beneath the stars. I chased the colors of the fall leaves, visited the small town of South Park Colorado, fell in love with a small café in Ned, and met new people that I would otherwise have never connected with.
If I never left, if I never explored the world, I would never have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone in my own country and appreciate the little things in life that went unnoticed.
I have chosen to live my life as a traveler, not only when I travel in a foreign place, but as a lifestyle. All I had to do was open my eyes to what has been in front of my all along!!! 🙂
” Travel is not measured by distance or destination, it’s a lifestyle.”