The English Channel: Grown Ups

Before I began traveling, I thought I had reached the point in my life where I had to grow up into that good, serious adult that every soul on this earth is aspiring to be.

You’ve got to figure out the way to get that college degree, the job, the big house and that perfect forever partner — all by the ever-approaching deadline of graduation (which you better achieve in four years) — or you’ve done it wrong.

I now know for certain that there is no way in hell I’m aspiring to fit into that mold.

I am 21 years young.

Each year I gain experience navigating around this pale blue dot and I am so thankful for each new day.

Today, I’m in Barcelona, sitting on the Mediterranean Sea with two of the best friends I could have ever asked for and I’m learning about what it means to be alive.

(For the love of humanity, please study abroad. I promise you will NEVER regret it.)

Eileen, Allie and I have spent five days walking all over this city and we still haven’t seen it all.

The adventure began last Thursday.

I decided to skip my one Friday class to catch a cheap flight to where we thought was Barcelona.

Little did we know, Ryan Air is able to offer such low ticket prices because it flies to small airports near–not sure what their definition of near is but..I digress — the city they say they are flying to.

At the gate we met an interesting British man with sun-kissed skin. He told us he had taken a holiday in Spain just over 20 years ago and decided to stay.

What a dangerous idea!

He said the pace of life was better for him and he couldn’t leave–he found home. He learned Spanish and lived life for himself.

The next group we met had matching T-shirts that all read, “I’m going to Apple’s 50th!” in green neon letters.

Apple, the birthday boy, was a gentleman even though he was a bit drunk. He let me take his picture and helped an excited disabled boy get onto the plane quickly, but I think he was just as excited.

Apple and about 15 of his friends decided to go to Spain to celebrate. Most of them were a little tipsy before we got on the plane, but all of them definitely were by the time we took off. They supplied constant singing and spent the flight playing musical chairs or measuring their heights with the tallest flight attendant.

It was a hilarious spectacle to watch.

When the plane hit a patch of rough turbulence, they kept it light by whooping and cheering like we were on a roller coaster. They were the silliest group of 50-year-olds I’ve ever encountered by far, but I hope when I’m Apple’s age, I’m surrounded by friends like his — and I wouldn’t be too upset if I were drunk on a plane to Spain.

So, we ended up in Girona, Spain — an hour and a half bus ride away from our first hostel.
Thankfully, we were able to find the bus with my rusty Spanish and a short game of charades.

Allie had a small confrontation with a Spanish woman over the aisle seat (and won) and we were on our way to the city center.

We made it to Graffiti Hostel at about 1:30 a.m.

I would highly reccomend staying there if you ever find yourself in Barca, even though it is about a 35 minute walk to the beach and La Rambla — the famous market/party street.

Its name, I would bet, comes from the beautiful graffiti lined streets surrounding the entire area. It’s like walking through a free art gallery when you head to the beach.

The days following our arrival consisted of walking to breathtaking views of the sea and the city with a steady supply of baguettes and cheese.

But there is so much more than physical beauty in this city: I’m in love with its heartbeat. It’s vibrant and young; even in the elderly people, you can feel its pulse. Laughs are easy to come by and there is happiness is here.

Some say it’s the perfect coastal weather bringing out the best in people, but I think it’s just a large population of people who discovered the best way to grow up — to have fun doing it.

Here, they work to live instead of living to work.

When they have the chance to make someone laugh, they take it! Look for opportunities to joke around and for goodness sake, don’t take yourself too seriously!!

Be the person who laughs, not cries, when your friend squeezes extra hand sanitizer into your hands just so you have to rub your hands together for a good ten minutes while you meet their grandparents.

Just love it. And as Modest Mouse says, “We’ll all float on anyway.”

Saludos y cervezas,


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