Prepping the mind for Spain

(Photo credit: "The last sunray" in Barcelona by MORBCN)

Since the South Africa episode in January, I've traveled to Vail, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, and Napa Valley. I don't really write about domestic trips unless there is something grander than the trip itself to write about. Next week I'm embarking on a one week jaunt to Spain. Specifically: 4 hours in Lisbon, 2.5 days in Barcelona, and 5 days in Ibiza. I haven't fully put a lot of thought into the trip. My friend had been wanting to go back to Ibiza for a while (it is a place where she escapes to) and wanted to find someone to go with. I've never been to Spain and I could use a break, so why not. The Lisbon + Barcelona leg will be solo. Then I'll meet her and crew in Ibiza later. Frankly I can't say I'm excited to emerse myself in the 24/7 party scene that made Ibiza famous. I'm mildly worried that it will be another episode of trance-a-thon in Transkei again, except this is the beach version. The saving grace would be that I can always escape back to the hotel whenever.. (I hope). 

The purpose of my trip is 3 folds:

To do what I want to do, for me -- and that is to check out all the wonderful architecture Barcelona has to offer. Somewhere there I hope to meet strangers, strike meaningful conversations, find happiness in eating alone at cafes, get lost strolling the winding streets of old world charm, and transcend into introspection mode. I know I did this before in SA, but in some ways that was different.  One could say that I am most at home with single-serving friends like ones I meet during traveling because I moved around so much as a child and thus become drawn to these shallow, fleeting relationships. I'd like to think more positively tho -- exposure to people of different paths enlighten you in ways you'll never expect. Hopefully I'll grow from it.

To acquire new skills -- this time being scuba diving. This is kind of huge because I've been scared of deep ocean water ever since I was a little kid. Learning something new is always fun when you don't have to face your innermost fear. This is my innermost fear. I'm facing it in the mediterranean, alone. It's not going to be easy .. at all. Somehow after having spoken to so many people about the activity I was convinced enough to put it on my bucket list.. and so try, I must.

To take the time to understand "love". I'm going to be reading this book called The Art of Loving ... while not partying. It is a rather academic take on love, what it actually is (as oppose to what it is mostly mistaken to be), and how to sustain and grow it. Written mostly for psychology students and youngsters from a different generation, the book itself doesn't reflect modern-day self-help happy-go-lucky how-tos that my ADD generation tend to read and write. It is more a classic, purist take on love, which makes it all the more appealing to me. Someone once asked if it is possible that I have never, ever truly loved anyone at all except my brother. That my quest to SA to find out what human relationship mean to people is a testament to the fact that I finally figured out that I don't know jack shit. Possibly.

I'll be writing entries to this blog during my travels... with pictures and insights, outwardly and inwardly. I guess I'm pulling a Julia Robert from that sappy ass movie "eat, pray, love" J is dragging me to see. It'll be my version of "eat, pray, love", except it's "eat, fear, love". .. maybe .. The eating is definitely mandatory.