Taylor Thibodeau Speaking…
Heavy-eyed through teal tint lenses, I swallow the vast landscapes of Madrid, Spain. Our high-speed train is Barcelona-bound. Mike, to my left, sifts through photos. He spreads a smile as each image tells the story of a soul-enriching memory preserved.. Josiah to my front left enjoys cool jazz through one headphone- music and earbuds courtesy of the train. Taylor directly in front of me scouts a place for us to lay our heavy heads tonight. A task not often easily achieved when we reluctantly forfeit each Euro for a new pleasure or necessity. Will it be in a high-end Barcelona Hostel? Or perhaps the old couch of a friend not yet met? Will we search for an adequate piece of land to pitch tents? Who knows. The mystery and thrill quenches my cravings for adrenaline and…newness.
Today is the 7th day on our crusade across Western Europe. As anticipated, it feels as if a month has already passed since the four of us said farewell to friends, family, and our homes. An overwhelming amount of life has been lived and stimulation absorbed in a sliver of time. Each day brings with it overloaded new challenges, adventures, friends, growth, and physical taxation. I wouldn’t change a thing. It all matters, it’s all happening, and it’s all so purely part of it.
lugging around hefty bags through sweltering cities is a lot less romantic in actuality than I grew up believing it would be. Bruises develop, back aches, muscles I never felt before suddenly reveal their existence through sore pain. This has become a burden to the point Mike and Taylor already shipped some weight back to the states…which isn’t cheap…which says a lot, because of the limited euros in our pockets. Making navigational mistakes on foot is a lot more demoralizing with 40 pounds stupid to your back. This is really no issue for us, because navigating in a foreign country is super easy. HAHA, no, not really…it sucks.
The Eurorail was not what we thought. ‘Hey, let’s buy a pass for month for $800. It allows you to get on any train in Europe and travel from city to city and country to country…sounds easy!’ Not quite. There are reservation fees, and in a lot of cases reservations need to be booked 7 days in advance. We realized this our second day in Lisbon when we tried booking our seats from Portugal to Spain. it was a miracle we were able to get on the train when we did. Each day we grow more and more knowledgeable and efficient.
(all day intermission)
It’s now 1:46 AM. I am sitting in the kitchen/lounge area of the hostel in Barcelona where the Wifi actually functions properly. I’m drinking one of the two beer brands here offered to my by one of the hostel owners. He’s a 29 year old American who visited Europe to study when he was 22 and just never made it back home. He’s a really rad guy who is willing to share all of his non-touristy treasured locations he’s been discovering the last 7 years. He says he doesn’t do that for most tourists. I can’t seem to remember his name…but he seems like a genuine and rad guy. Goodness, I love the people you can meet when you just put yourself out into the world.
(all night intermission)
It’s the next day, tuesday…wait? No, it’s Wednesday at 5:45 PM.
I didn’t get much writing done, because after he downed 6 beers, Jesse (oh, his name is Jesse by the way) could not stop talking and I just didn’t want to stop listening.
Today we woke up and took a 2 mile walk to one of Barcelona’s beautiful beaches. The expedition on the way to the ocean was…absolutely life-sucking. Such intense humidity and heat. However, the reward was worthwhile. We plopped our sweaty tired asses on the sand, set up “camp”, and prepared to enjoy the water. only moments later I began to notice that about half the women not he beach were topless…thank goodness for sunglasses. Sorry, but like…how does one get used to that? The water was warm and inviting…the waves were wild and somewhat violent. we had an absolute blast body surfing. It felt like every 30 seconds a local would pop on over and ask us if we wanted beer, a massage, water, or tickets to a club. I accepted a beer a couple times…for 1 Euro, I am DOWN with that.
mi 3 amigos are off to find a grocery store so we can cook dinner at the hostel. Saving Euros every way we can. We will rest for a bit, and then check out the nightlife.
Documenting has been more difficult than suspected due to the hustle and bustle of each and every day. There is little down time. However, I am going to create more opportunity to post. What’s the point of doing anything if it is only to be forgotten?
Lots of photos coming soon! Thank you for reading…
Take care and have a lovely rest of your day 🙂
-Taylor Mason Thibodeau