Friday, August 3, 2007

Whatever happens in Barthelona, Stays in Barthelona


My first Hostelling experience. For those that are unfamiliar with the term – a hostel is a cheaper alternative to a hotel. Why cheaper? Because the room you pay for is shared by other fellow travelers. The bathroom and bedroom is communal as well as the kitchen and living areas. I was a little nervous to try this way of sleeping, but surprisingly it was quite comforting to be hibernating with other bears. It was very easy to make friends once I got here and every traveler speaks some English. I instantly became friends with a girl name Eliza who is from Tennessee. This is the first American I had met since I left home. We went out together strolling around town talking, getting lost..eventually following our eyes to a very special gelato store and the Picasso museum.

The Picasso museum was fascinating to me because they showed pieces from his youth when he did not yet have his style which he is recognized for. Although he was a talented painter and could paint landscapes and portraits like any trained artist…there was no life in it. I wouldn’t even have those pieces hanging on my wall, despite the Picasso signature. But then something changed when he became older and he stopped caring about how things look. He just felt with his paint brush – and it was so inspiring to see how creative he had allowed himself to be – by not even trying.

I felt very out of my element yesterday, although I am good at being social and blending in. I have lived such a disciplined life with no smoking, drugs, promiscuity, or drinking and since I have been in Barcelona– I am quite a minority. I think maybe the lesson for me here is to not necessarily give in and do things I don’t feel comfortable doing – but to not judge other people for having their own choices. I think its natural for me to change my mind about a friend based on their habits – which I have no right to do. When I met people at the hostel, I liked all of them…Then I kept hearing more of their stories about how they do drugs and drink and come to Spain to party – and it was harder and harder for me to feel like I am their friend. I wanted to just hide in my room…but I forced myself to go out with everyone in the evening – I actually had a fantastic time and simply didn’t care what other people did…enjoying them just the same as I would without the indulgences. I can see why people love Barcelona – there are so many young people who simply don’t have a problem being social. I went to two dance clubs that night, and they were both packed with people…all dancing, and I had the most fun just dancing by myself with my group from the hostel.

We all went home at 5:00am, I was exhausted – my throat shot because of the cigarette smoke in the air…but loving every moment. I had no sheets on my bed, but was happy just laying on top of my silk sleeping bag…sleeping very soundly knowing that I had enjoyed the evening with a group of people I had never met before, and feeling like one of them even though I had stayed true to my own values. This is much more difficult than I had anticipated and I hope that it will become easier as time goes on…It’s a pain that I am glad to experience.


Mom said...

I am so happy to hear that you are having a good experience hosteling. I am also glad to hear that you are finding out it's okay to be you and it's okay for others to be themselves....we are all on our own journey and none of that journey can be wrong. Love you my little traveler. Mom

Nigel Lochinvar said...

The farther one travels the less one really knows

blarmey said...

And that's why you're awesome.

By the way, we'll have to do Italy or whatnot some other time. I didn't get my Schengen visa so I'm slumming it in Egypt for two weeks. :)