Friday, January 30, 2009

Feeling Blessed

Even though I sometimes get depressed/fed up with my school and job (see the previous post), I want to express how blessed I feel to live in Spain. No matter how frustrating my job can be, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have a job in this economic climate. Furthermore, who else gets to work four days a week, have health insurance, and have enough money to travel?

Recently, a friend of mine was in car accident. Her car was totaled, but luckily she is okay. When I heard this news, I was so surprised and felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. This reality check made me take a step back in my life and think about how lucky I am and realize how quickly things can change. It reminded me not to waste my time in Madrid but to really take advantage of it, and do and see as much as possible. Who knows when I will ever come back to Spain?

These past few weeks I have been feeling antsy, wanting to get out of Madrid and travel. Unfortunately, my plans have fallen through a couple of times. However, today I was able to find a cheap ticket to Lisbon so next weekend I will exploring Lisbon by myself. While I am slightly nervous to travel on my own, the prospect of traveling solo kind of excites me. I won’t have to compromise with anyone and I can do whatever I want. Over my winter break, I went to Porto, Portugal for five days and loved it. It was very relaxing, had an historic charm, tons of wine cellars, and was pretty cheap. As a result, I decided I wanted to see another city in Portugal.

Over the past couple of months, I have slowly been refining my list of places I want to go. Up to this point, most of my travel has been influenced by where I have friends and people I know. So far outside of Spain, I have been to Paris and Toulouse, France, Porto, Portugal, and India. In the next couple of months I have travel plans to Lisbon, Munich, and Andorra (a tiny country between Spain and France) and would like to go to Morocco, Greece, Turkey, and Italy if possible. Within Spain, I have gone to Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Cordoba, and Seville. Before I leave, I hope to see Granada, Barcelona, Valencia, Santander, and Galicia. Clearly, I am going to be quite busy these next couple of months! However, because my list of places to go is constantly revolving based on recommendations I would love to hear your suggestions on places to visit in Europe.

It must be my dad’s interest in airplanes and airlines that sparked me to list all the airlines I have flown on since I started my journey in September: United, Air Canada, Easy Jet, Ryan air, KLM Royal Dutch Airline, King Fisher, Jet Airways, and Northwestern. I cannot believe I have been on eight different airlines and how connected/small the world really is. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to live abroad, see new places, and meet amazing people.

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