I hope it was a great weekend for all! I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend away in Barcelona. It’s one of those cities that energy bursts from, and you just can’t get enough of it. We arrived late Friday evening to a treat of an airport, and high-tailed it to the city to meet Anna! I really enjoy seeing friends out of the element that you are used to being with them. You start to bond with them in ways you hadn’t really known possible in the norms of daily life.
After a quick room situation was solved, we left straightaway to find some Spanish food. Barcelona has loads of restaurants, and within the inner city, they tend to appear sophisticated and inviting, with glass modernity staring you down as you walk by. We chose one on La Ramblas, somewhat tricking ourselves into believing it was not as touristy as it could have been. It didn’t matter, our reunion dinner with Anna and introduction to the city was superb!
Spain appears to be a country in which you can enjoy all of its deliciousness without shelling out too many Euros per meal. We were pleasantly surprised to find the wine was 2-5 Euros for a glass while a bottle was less than 20! Tapas were portioned well and priced around five Euros. The trouble is being able to tell yourself when to stop eating…
M and I took a walk on Saturday evening while Anna rested, and found ourselves by the waterfront. A bench on the boardwalk beckoned to us, and we took a seat in order to watch the passersby. What I gleamed from all of these people was contentment and satisfaction. Some came from the beach, still in wet swimsuits and even an occasionally surfboard in hand. Others had already donned their heels and party outfits in order to begin a Saturday night. The sun was setting and the air still balmy.
Families, friends, lovers, wives, husbands – I could sense a feeling of peace and happiness on the whole. It made me start thinking about how important the choice of where to live is, and how the place we call home affects us. Some people never leave the town they grow up in, their feet firmly rooted within the web of their family and friends and familiarity. Others move around, and sometimes search the world for a place that feels good and that feels right. Others are moved by less of a choice, and long for the place they call home, never truly feeling comfortable. And others can feel comfortable anywhere, with a unique ability to adapt to any location and make friends and connections without hesitation.
I had longed for the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and experience a new place in the world, but then when I got it, I started to miss what was familiar to me in NYC. Once I began to recognize these feelings, I make it a point to remind myself of why I wanted this in the first place – I wanted to challenge myself and get to know myself in a completely new environment. So it’s a constant process. I’ve come to realize, essentially we cannot have it all. If we want to drop ourselves in a foreign place, we can’t have complete familiarity. And of course vice versa. It’s all about making choices and being able to trust ourselves enough that it was made with all the best intentions. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Barcelona is the type of city that excites me and induces passion. The architecture along every boulevard and winding side street was exquisite and romantic, even when the building appeared to be crumbling, it was charming rather than grotesque. Barcelona whispers lots of secrets about its greatness, and M and I couldn’t help but wonder aloud if we could find ourselves there more permanently. And perhaps it would be.
Barcelona has much to offer and I can’t wait to get back there again!