When you read this, I will be out on a fishing charter in the Bahamas. My Uncle Bill and David are going to be so proud! I'll post pictures when I get back. I promise. Since I'm out on the first leg of this voyage, I thought I better finish telling you about the European portion of the summer. Let me back up and first tell you why I am going on this trip.
I haven't been out of the country in a few years and while this may sound like nothing big, to me it is a travesty. My wandering soul craves it. I also haven't been back to Spain or France since I studied abroad in Madrid my Junior year of college. I left a little part of me there when I left and I would like to go reclaim it. The trip is also something I need to do for myself. My friends are jokingly referring to it as my "Eat. Pray. Love." trip. Joking or not, there is some truth to it. Although I am calling it the Eat. Pray. Drink trip. And yes, that was an alternate title for this blog. So was Baguettes and Booze. (Mom, don't read the previous sentence.) Everyone has a rough go at it sometimes so I'm not going to dwell on that part. Moral of the story - I just needed to do something for myself because I wanted to do it. Pure and simple.
Why Barcelona? I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I have never been. I've been to probably 10 other cities in Spain, but never Barcelona. So I kind of have to. My time in there will be broken up as I travel to France and to Sevilla and Granada. I am going to Granada because the last time I was there I didn't fall in love with it. I blame the weather. So I'm going to give it another chance and to go back to the Alhambra. Sevilla is my absolute favorite city in Spain and my grandmother loved it, too. She and I didn't always agree on much or get along all the time, but we shared a love for Spain and for traveling. I have a few non-planned days in Spain so I might add another city, go back to Madrid or extend my time in the other three cities. Not sure yet. What do you think?
And finally, Taize. I am going on an eight day retreat here. It is a site of Christian pilgrimage for mostly young people. The monastic order hosts over 100,000 people a year for prayer, Bible study, community, and work. It is described as a place of kindness, simplicity, and reconciliation. I cannot wait! I have heard nothing but amazing things about this "life-changing" place.
To be brutally honest, the nerves are really starting to kick in. A whole month without anyone I know. I went to the AT&T store today to figure out what I am going to do with my phone. That in itself made me nervous. I am super independent and I know I'll be fine, but I'm praying I don't get lonely. Other than that, I am beyond excited! Less than three weeks to go.