I was SUPPOSED to be flying home from Madrid today. Change of plans. I've been home almost two weeks.
As Eat Pray Love hits theatres I pull the plug on a trip that I've been planning for the last year.
Know what? I'm ecstatically happy waking up in my own bed. I go into MY bathroom and do the happy dance because there are no monster sized roaches or other people's toe jam and pubic hair.
I think I've outgrown the youth hostel life style. I have not gotten old, I've just evolved.
At lunch today I started thinking about all the people I met on the road. Men and women that in a moment became my best friends, then poof, are gone forever. Brief encounters, a gift from the universe.
These past five weeks have been filled with some pretty interesting people.
A 76 year-old backpacker stranded at a youth hostel in Nice because he crashed his motorcycle. I hope he's back safe in Australia.
Sally, the physical therapist from England just traveling around living a wild crazy moment before going back to her reality where she will worry if she's getting too old to have a child.
Eliseau, my tapas partner in Madrid. I think I hurt his feelings, but he should've listened when I told him I have a boyfriend.
Ryse, Sarah, Gregg, and Nate...ultimate backpackers. All four so smart and so talented. They will have great stories for their grandchildren. I admire their life, but couldn't live it. Sleeping in a tent in a road side campsite...LOL...I couldn't handle a hostel for six weeks.
Eric and Karen, married for over 30 years, telling me that it is completely normal for me to miss my guy here in the states. Teaching me that true love means sharing a life not living separately.
Enrique, Michel, Amilio, and the others coming to life as they learned English. A beautiful sight.
Wine touring in Bordeaux with Irina. She warned me about Ryan Air's baggage weight limit. I payed out the ass on my way to Majorca. I should've listened to Irina.
Just a few of many, many conversations I had on this journey. This is what I enjoyed the most; these brief encounters. Really nice people, plus a couple of ass wipes.
Oscar getting too touchy feely. Pushing him away wanting to kick his head in. Get a freakin' life, dude. Do you think for a second I would even consider you?
The multitudes of SCNF workers in France. Your helpfulness to an untraveled American marvels the mind. I hope you come to America, get lost, and try to get directions from someone YOU don't understand. Maybe you will receive the same unkind smirks you gave to me.
I was very fortunate on this journey. These were not just chance meetings. I think people come into our lives for a reason. Even if it is just a moment.
These people touched my life in those moments, and hopefully I touched theirs in some way. Now that I'm home I can reflect on the significance of those meetings. Believe me, there were times I would've lost my mind completely without the people I met.
I just read a comment on one of my postings from "Anonymous". It wasn't a very flattering comment. In fact, I think he or she is pretty pissed off at what I post on MY blog.
The tone of this comment sounded vaguely familiar. Anonymous, do I know you? If I do, and you didn't leave a name, shame on you!
A bit of clarification about MY blog. This isn't a Travel Blog. I never said it was. Yes, Anonymous, I travel. Yes, I do write about it, but the purpose of MY blog isn't a travel medium.
When I started writing this blog I admitted that it was self-indulgent. Writing is self-indulgent. It is a selfish endeavor. I am the first person to say that MY blog is completely selfish, and totally ALL ABOUT ME.
Anonymous, I understand and respect that you are entitled to your opinion, However, I am ALLOWED to write as much "mellow-drama" as I want. Why does that offend you so much? Why do you even care?
Anonymous, you accused me of being egotistic...you are right. Having an ego is healthy. You also mentioned that I need to let go of someone from my past:: HIM. Where did that come from?
I haven't written about HIM in a very long time. In fact, HE hasn't entered my train of thought for months. HE is not a MAN who deserves any of my attention. Anonymous, YOU must miss HIM. Well, too bad, I'm with a REAL MAN now. Maybe YOU are the one who needs to move on.
Anonymous, you also commented that ITHINK people care about my thoughts, my ramblings, my process of growing up. That makes me laugh. I KNOW people don't give a flying rat's ass about my life.
MY blog isn't for other people...let me be perfectly clear: I WRITE FOR ME! If other people find interest, can relate, or are slightly entertained, that's great. If not, and they choose NOT to read what is here, that's great too.
Self-involved? Self-indulgent? A bit egotistical? Most definitely! You know what, Anonymous? I'm totally OK with that.
Finally, Anonymous, I would like to THANK YOU for your comment. I made you react to the point that you wrote something. Writers want to get an emotional reaction from a reader. I've done my job!
Playa de San Juan just outside of Alicante, Spain has to be one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. I've rented both an umbrella and a lounge chair, a bit of a splurge for my budget, but I don't care. I need this little indulgence.
I see parents playing with their children in the white sand. Families enjoying each other's company brings smiles to my heart. Isn't this what summer is about?
An elderly couple gets my attention. He is walking with a cane through the sand. Keeping his balance is difficult so he leans on his wife's shoulder for support. She slows her pace so he can navigate the bumpy terrain without falling. This simple act, a couple working to help each other, brings clarity. This is what I want.
I come to this beach for three days in a row. I watch the families, the elderly, the lovers and I see myself in all of them. Or more specifically I see my present and my future.
Each night in Alicante I visit two places. The first cafe I go to is Casa de Jamon. I sit outside and watch the sun go down over the Castille Santa Barbara. I love watching how the sun shades the side of the mountain. Mixed with the car lights just coming on are like twinkling little stars.
Around 9:00 I visit Taberna Segura. I found this place my first night in Alicante. This small little restaurant just opened and the owner/chef has treated me like family. I chat with Lola a regular who comes in for a coffee before she goes to work at a private club. I want to ask her if she is a madame, but think that would be impolite so I don't.
This is the first place during this journey where I can see myself living here. Small city, near the sea, calm and peaceful.
It is also the place where I've decided that I will go home after Majorca next week. It is time. That is where I want to be. Home is where I belong.
That is what this journey is about...finding where I belong.