Not being able to travel to any European destination was a difficult pill to swallow about a year ago. However, what has been even more difficult to deal with has been having a ticket to visit a major European city and not actually being able to get on the plane that would take me there. Let me make it clearer – I had a plane ticket to fly out to London on Thursday afternoon, and yet here I am, in Madrid.
Due to placement changes, this Friday, Monday and Tuesday are no longer holidays for me. I had previously bought a flight out to London for this weekend, where I was supposed to meet and spend time with a family very close to mine. Perhaps the worst part of it all was that I didn’t even feel like it was possible to ask my work to help me out in this situation.
As a foreigner in Spain, I’ve had several times when I’ve felt uncomfortable – the good kind of uncomfortable. The kind of uncomfortable that has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow into a stronger and more self-reliant person, no matter how difficult the process was. However, during this past week, I felt a sense of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”. My long-life need to be professional kept me from saying anything until it was too late, but the large part of me that just wants to explore the world was extremely frustrated, disappointed, and even upset. All I could keep telling myself was, “what is the point of all of this if in the end, I don’t even get to travel?”. I can’t lie, I started to think I was working far too hard for what was supposed to be a year of interesting work and frequent traveling.
A look back on my trips, though, and I realize I have traveled a fair bit. I’ve been to Sevilla, Granada (twice), Porto, Amsterdam, back home, and around the Madrid area from the northern mountains to the southern desert plains. To top things off, an easter-week visit to Barcelona and Paris in a couple of weeks will surely make me feel like I’m back on track again. A visit to Mallorca (a Spanish island) may also be in the works for May. Despite all this, I feel the need to keep booking trips. San Sebastian is the Spanish destination left remaining, at least of the ones I feel the need to visit this time around. Beyond that, my mind is set on a few days in Italy, and hopefully some time in London before going back home.
The travel bug has hit… again.
What would you do in my shoes?