Finally Home

15 08 2011

It’s been two and a half weeks of traveling and I’m finally back home. It’s almost as if I am currently experiencing culture shock of my own every day life, since I am not used to the daily grind. It’s kind of funny how a trip lasting more than a week will change your perception of life.  What- a bed to sleep in for more than a night or two? Amazing! Being in a static location for more than a day? Who knew?!

So instead of detailing every single amazing day of my two trips, or posting a handful of photos (they have yet to be uploaded from my camera, but perhaps this too will come later), I intend to share a sampling of things I learned while away: (The first five are in regards to my Spain trip and the second five points are about my road trip.)

  1. One of the reasons I was particularly excited to travel to Barcelona was because I had learned that the city had a bounty of amazing street art. While I did not see as much of the street art by artists I had read about, I did end up seeing the works by an artist or two who are actually pretty well known, so those few instances made up for the lack of quantity.
  2. I remembered more Spanish than I thought I would.
  3. I didn’t know as much Spanish as I thought I would.
  4. Worn-out Converse sneakers, while they may not give me away as a tourist, are not the most comfortable choice of walking shoes. The incredibly thin soles do not work well on Spain’s many cobble stone-covered roads.
  5. The Sagrada Familia church by Gaudi was one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing on my Spain trip. Even though it wasn’t as large as I was imagining it would be, and even though seeing the tons of photos that many have taken of the church may have slightly tainted my experience, it was still one of the best parts of the trip.
  6. Driving for roughly 10 hours in a day isn’t as long as I had thought it would be.
  7. Apparently I hate Colorado for it’s non-existant and/or incredibly confusing signage while driving through the Rocky Mountains. It is because of this that my friend and I missed seeing a concert I was really looking forward to and instead drove a few hours out of our already lengthy way. On a possibly related note, the only places in Colorado that I actually do like are cities that start with the letter, ‘D’: Durango, Denver, and Dinosaur. (Yes, that last one is real.)
  8. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time of a suicidal bird is terrifying. In other words, when a bird flies right into your car’s front windshield, the proper protocol is to: 1. freak out 2. keep on driving (moving to the side will not help, neither will breaking, even if there are no cars behind you, and accelerating probably won’t do you much good either. Think of the physics of all of these cases.) 3. and make sure to take your car to a powerful car wash afterwards to remove all the blood and guts from your vehicle.
  9. Kansas City was surprisingly boring. My friend and I were in the downtown area which, for a Saturday afternoon was basically a ghost town. (However, the Public Library did prove to be a highlight.) The Country Club Plaza was also unexpectedly mundane except for the wedding party we saw being photographed in front of the city’s many famous fountains.
  10. I have developed an even deeper love for Elvis Presley, even though I didn’t think that would be possible. Case in point:
  • My new dream job is to be a back-up singer for Elvis, especially singing the male back-up parts.
  • I have decided that I want to marry an Elvis impersonator… a young Elvis impersonator. I have yet to see someone impersonate Elvis before his trendy disco era, but nevertheless, that’s who I want to marry.

I’m pretty sure that there’s more than just that as to things I discovered/learned while away, but those are probably the most important and memorable. As you can tell, there were plenty of fantastic memories that I now have because of the privilege I have had to be able to travel. Like always, I anticipate the next trip I can take, but for now, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to come back home to daily routine.

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