I've had the pleasure and the opportunity to travel recetly. It was life changing. Not in a major way, but in many small, subtle ways, to the point of it seeming like dream bites.
I wasn't afraid to go until I stepped on the plane. In rougly 18 hours (which included a layover) I would arrive in Madrid, alone. No one was waiting for me there. Now that excited me. What scared me most was not being able to ask for help.
I took spanish in high school, but I'm rubbish at it now. I can understand quite a bit and read pleanty of it, but converse with a real human? Goodness no. I'm rusty. I'm shy. I freeze up.
I'm on the metro, empty... like metros usually are at airports. I have no idea what time it is because my phone's service is disconnected. But I'm here! And I'm travelling, here to draw, see, feel it all. I want to remember- how can I serve? How can I best be a light?
I left for Spain feeling very confused about what I should be doing to help make the world better. I was hoping to gain some clarity and get over this funk I was in.
But then I connected with people and everything changed. I met some lovely people at the hostel and on my walking tour fresh in the morning. After the tour ended around lunchtime, I'd made a new friend, and we spent the next few days visiting museums, talking about art, and taking photos. We even drew together in Reiro park. Zaki and Elody, you made my time in Madrid magical!
By far, one of the most beautiful parks I've been to was Retiro Park near the Prado museum. It was large and in charge, green as a grasshopper, stylish and relaxed with beautiful people riding their bikes and strolling along the various paths. I love this park, and I'm deeply impressed by how grand it is. The Monumeno de Alfonso was superb, and there's nothing more calming than watching people lazily paddle their boats around the beautiful structure.
I started most of my days with early morning walks and a coffee. The San Isidro Festival was going on that week so they were setting up for events and testing microphones. Light conversation between myself and the cafe waiter or a fellow traveler included with coffee every time, free of charge.
The Spanish countryside is beautiful and green. It reminds me of Napa in parts. I missed my train.... Had to wait 4 hours for the next one because I went to the wrong station. I'm pleasantly surprised, though, that when something goes wrong, life goes on. It's not really a big deal. I was so afraid something like this would happen, but in the end, I'm ok!
I walked around the train station for a long time, read my book but mostly watched other people. The train was comfortable and headed to San Sebastian where I would stay with my first host from couchsurfing.com.