Barcelona

November 1, 2009

There are so many things I want to remember about this trip. The beauty of the city. The cafe where I ordered a capuccino and a croissant de chocolate every morning, not only because it was good, but because it was the easiest to pronounce. The sex toy shop next to my hotel.  Attempting to find the Spanish arc de triumph, but getting lost. Reading Angel’s Game (a book set in Barcelona) while sitting on the hotel roof deck overlooking the city. My mani/pedi at the Hotel Arts. The weird cheese ravioli topped with almonds I had. Being surrounded by a foreign language. Enjoying good Spanish wine.

I had an amazing experience and absolutely can not wait to go back.

Click here for a slideshow of some of the photos from my trip. Let me know what you think!

 

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The Dirt of 3 Cities

October 25, 2009

After over 12 hours of travel and a brief layover in Paris, I arrived in Barcelona. First on the agenda was a nap and a shower to wash off the dirt of NY, Paris and Barcelona. Why does sitting on an airplane and in airports make one feel so gross?

My seatmates on the flight to Paris was a young gay couple who were German I think. Very nice boys, who like me, tried to sleep between the many meals they serve you on these long international flights. The plane was huge, 2 floors and looked pretty full. It was an Air France flight and it was strange to be surrounded by so much French while on my way to Spain.

Today I spent some time wandering. I ordered Capuccino in a nearby cafe, mostly because it was the only word I recognized on the menu. I’ve not been eating much yet, as I didn’t study up on the Spanish names for foods before I left. I found an Italian restaurant I’m going to try for dinner tonight, I recognized a lot on their menu. Later on I will hit the hotel wine bar and try some Spanish wines.

So far, I love this city.

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Espana

October 12, 2009

In 11 days I’m hitting the road….er…air and heading to Spain!

I MUST start brushing up on my Spanish!

Legacy

June 1, 2009

I went back to Illinois this past weekend to attend a celebration of life service for a former theatre lighting teacher, turned friend, Shelley, who recently passed away. Held on a theatre stage, with her beloved dog in attendance and a slideshow of photos from pieces of her life, it truly was an honor to her memory. As I sat there listening to everyone who spoke about her I thought a lot about the legacy one leaves after they are gone.

We all come into this world and from breath number one we have a legacy handed to us. Our parents instill their dreams of parenting a future doctor, lawyer or mother or wish for us to take on the family business. As we grow, a societal legacy is born. The one that tells us to earn a certain monetary amount, to stay within an unattainable weight range and to partner up in order to be societally accepted.

We spend a lot of time fighting these forced legacies and thinking that we don’t measure up or fit into this life, but in death, none of those legacies mattered. People spoke of remembering Shelley’s spirit, her sometimes strict teaching methods that now go on through her students as they now teach others and her incredible love for animals. The University dedicated a room in the building where she worked and instituted a scholarship in her name. Those will be her legacies. A life lived, not a life dreamed.

The Power of One

May 28, 2009

When I received the invitation to my friend’s memorial and saw the date, a mere 5 days after my return from the Netherlands Antilles, I thought I would have to miss it. As time went on, I found myself looking at plane tickets for the dates, “just to see” and realized that not going wasn’t an option for me. I had a strong desire to go back to the place where we met and honor her service to my alma mater, the University of Illinois. Since making that decision I have learned I wasn’t the only one. Students she taught and mentored are coming from all over the country, San Francisco, New York, Massachusetts, Kentucky, we are gathering together on a weekend in May to remember together a time that’s past.

It it humbling to witness the power of 1 person to bring us all together from all walks and places of life for a part memorial, part reunion, part celebration, sure to be full of laughter, tears and love.

Rest in peace, Shelley. While you watch, we will all be celebrating your all too brief time on this planet. I know it’s cliche, but thanks for the memories.

“What’s a girl doing walking along the beach alone”

“You have to admit, most people don’t travel to beach locations by themselves”

I am a 30 year old, single woman. I deserve relaxation in the form of my own personal poolside cabana or feeling the sand between my toes while I listen to the waves of the ocean crash against the shore.  I can not spend my life waiting for a man who will carry my beachbag for me.  I’ve thought a lot about the single life while on this trip and about whether or not I truly want to be in a relationship. The truth is, I do feel a pull to be a girlfriend and eventual mother, but I feel an equal pull to be a selfish single girl who can sleep in and travel at the drop of a hat. I am truly fine with either path.

I get too caught up in what society (and my mother) tells me to want. I get lost in the sea of “you should do…..” “you should be….”. I don’t feel lonely because I’m single, I feel lonely because people mock my choice/circumstance and push me out of the socially accepted circle. The absence of male purchased jewelry on my left hand should not make me a pariah.

I am going to keep traveling, keep wandering, keep writing whether or not I have someone alongside me. A hand to hold on the beach would be nice, but having the whole hotel bed to myself is equally appealing.

I do, however, wish I had someone around to put sunblock on those hard to reach places.  I guess that’s why people don’t go to beach locations by themselves.

A burnt back is a small price to pay I suppose, for self-acceptance.

My 6th Country

March 31, 2009

My birthday trip has been planned. I will be ringing in my 30th year on earth by visiting my 6th country: the Netherlands Antilles.

A remote island, sun and limited internet and phone access. Sounds like perfection to me!

San Francisco

March 1, 2009

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Love/Hate

February 24, 2009

I love traveling.

I hate turbulence.

5 years ago I moved to NY from Illinois. Part escapism, part fulfilling my need to wander, it was a dream of mine to live here. Truth be told, it was always one of those dreams I never thought would come true. Even my best friend was shocked when I did it. Even I was shocked when I actually did it.

Dream fulfillment is a risky business. Dreams come with an auto-idealism already built in. The reality rarely measures up, though TV often tries to fool you into thinking that it does. I am certainly grateful I had the experience of living in New York, but I am more than ready to leave it behind. It is not the place I want to be long-term. I don’t know where I want to be long-term, or even if I believe in long-term, but I know I am coming to the end of my NYC experience. Aside from the practicalities of a lease and a job, I am kept at status quo because I don’t know the answer to “where next?”. I have no dreams to decide for me this time, I have no place yet I feel could be my next stop.

So, I wander. I travel across the country and globe escaping here and seeking the next dream to fulfill.

I hope I find it soon. All this flying is expensive.