Today is my last day in Spain, and I spent it reading in a café, eating tapas, and walking on the along the shoreline in Malaga skipping stones across the surface of the water.
I find myself inexplicably drawn to write a blog post about it.
Not about the skipping stones part, but about my trip.
Okay, it probably isn’t inexplicable. I wrote one before I left, and it seems fitting to write one right before I go back home.
The two weeks I spent here can’t be compared. It was one of those trips I had to take, to free my head after four years of college and a crazy busy summer. I came here by myself, and doing so frightened me at first. To be honest, my anxiety hasn’t really waned that much over these fourteen days, but I have learned to be more confident in the unknown.
I didn’t know what I expected when I came here. Everybody says that traveling alone would reveal something about yourself, and that the path to self-discovery was in travel. I always thought that was a load of horse shit. After all, why would self-discovery come at the cost of a pricey plane ticket, sit-in restaurants, and half-assed hostels? Still, part of me had hoped that my trip here would reward me with something. I didn’t know what that was, but I came prepared. I brought books and my writing journal, which I hadn’t used in well over a year. I knew that I would have the time to question myself, and that it was important for me to write down the answers – however nonsensical – whenever I could.
To my surprise, I wrote. I wrote a lot; fragments of shorts stories and poems ended up scribbled throughout the pages of the hardcover. I even ended up with some crude drawings. I rediscovered reading, and I remembered how uplifting writing used to be.
I didn’t have any moment of prophetic realization. I didn’t have an existential crisis where I redefined who I was or what I wanted out of my life. No, I won’t be so cliché as to claim that a single trip to another country opened my eyes to reality.
Nah, self-discovery takes a lot longer than that.
But during this trip, I was forced to be honest with myself. And that did lead to a few rough conclusions I’ve drawn. None that I will elaborate on right now, but I can say with confidence that I was able to be so honest with myself because there was nobody here who would judge me. After all, what stranger gives a fuck about what you think? No one. Everyone’s preoccupied with themselves. No one will know you long enough to care. And that made all the difference in these two weeks.
I had someone advise me to cut myself away from everything. They wanted me to be completely separated during my trip. I didn’t, of course. I still kept in contact with my family. In fact, I called them everyday. I think that was important, because it kept me grounded. It reminded me that this vacation was not forever. I used that to always bring myself back at the end of the night when I bombarded myself with questions about self-worth and all that jazz.
This is becoming a long stream of consciousness rambling, but that’s fine. Hopefully, I can come back to this in a few years and remind myself of how I felt. I hope it’ll remind me that I don’t need to have all the answers to these pressing questions. They’ll come as they do.