Take Off

Barcelona Travel Blog

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I'm off to a 2 week trip to Europe. This journey will be with my cousin the first week, then on my own the second. I think that is the best of both worlds. Traveling alone can be rough. You have awesome experiences but nobody that you can share them with. Dinner alone sometimes feels awkward. But you are your own master and you truly get to go where the wind takes you. The loneliness forces me out of my comfort zone and to interact with strangers. I have discovered that I am quite charming and that has given me a confidence that i might not otherwise have had. Traveling alone has made me grow as a person. But that is not to say that traveling with someone you are close to is bad. It is great! There is nothing like a shared experience, whether it be a laugh or a disaster. Disasters make great stories, and can supply laughs to your audience if you can find and accentuate the humour. Every trip has moments of, shall I say, less than bliss. But that is what makes travel an adventure. When I travel with someone it makes those shared moments extra special. But be sure to escape the bubble. Interact with locals. Push each other to eat something new. Take turns being the boss. I have told my cousin who is accompanying me that she is in charge of what we do in Barcelona. She is not as experienced a traveler as I am and I have been to the Catalan capital many years ago. I will be excited to see anything. She picks the sights and direction and I will get us there. That is my gift. Barcelona has an extensive metro system and is a wonderful city to wander in. European cities often are very walkable with easy to use transit systems. I wish American ones could say the same ( I have hope) I have no doubt we will see what we expect and more importantly experience the unexpected. On our second leg we will be taking a bus to the tiny independent co-principality of Andorra, 3 hours northwest of the city. I try to visit a new country every year, so I pushed to include Andorra on our itinerary. It is a quirk of history and location that this feudal remnant in the Pyrenees has remained an independent country. Its almost like Europe forgot about it. While it is now known as a skiing destination, in the summer I hear there are lovely hikes to be had and lives a unique brand of the Catalan culture distinct from Barcelona. After consuming the fresh air of the mountains we will return to Barcelona. Maybe we will have side trip to Carcassone, France to visit the famous citadel city. That again will be up to her. She has never been to France and wants to check off that country off her list. I get that, although France is a country she will have to return to to truly experience it. I too have much more to experience in that lovely nation, but that is for future trips. After a week my cousin returns home and I will remain in Barcelona before I head over to Ibiza. The island has quite the wild reputation and while I have my rock star moments I am also not a kid anymore. My sister and her husband visited it last year and she assured me that there is more to the island than partying, and that is a side I look forward to exploring, while working on my all over tan. Perhaps I will visit Formentera. Perhaps I won't be traveling solo after all, I never know who I will meet. The best of both worlds!
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Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm