Adventures Are Only Beginning
A few weeks ago my husband and I set aside some time to go and explore the Spanish countryside. Taking the time has actually become a rarity, with launching my new business endeavor and his studies and travel schedule, there just hasn’t been a lot of free time to be “us,” individuals in love with adventure, discovering hidden places and stepping off the beaten path.
It is funny as I write these words, what defines “us” is what made me fall so deeply in love with this man. From our first brunch at a small Greek cafe in Chatelain, a trendy district in Brussels, where the rain was pouring down like majestic beads of silver and grey from skies above we recounted our own explorations as individuals traveling. My stories were of the rougher sort, backpacking through Europe, sailing the Adriatic and canvassing some remote regions on lush islands. His were stories from near and far. Being ten years my senior, he had traveled to places I still dream about. From seeing Cuba from the backseat of an old Cadillac, to going to Peru on a delegation, meeting US Senators in Miami and being escorted around Jordan, some cannot even fathom such rare opportunities. As we sipped a lightly chilled white wine, we both were wagering if there was room for a “plus one” in the equation? As time raced by and our world wind romance became an engagement, we both agreed traveling solo had become a thing of the past.
Memories aside, taking a road trip on two wheels was a fabulous day out of the city, a breathe of fresh air both literally and figuratively. The sun was shining and pillows of white fluffy clouds only later in the day ushered in the much needed rain to subdue the dust and reinvigorate the terrain. Riding down single lane country roads, winding through the hills and rolling mountains with the smell of pine wafting through the air . Hints of smoked meats perfumed the valleys from the ever-so-often communal barbecue pit, flames smoldering, where families gathered round picnic tables engaged in conversation, and children’s laughter echoed, competing with the rush of wind through my helmet’s visor. I needed this break away. I was so caught up in my head thinking about business plans, the what -if’s and to-do’s, constant worries if this gamble would actually pay off. Letting the stress build and allowing the tension to rise, I was not myself . This figurative escape was just what I needed to get myself in order. It allowed me the mind space to take account of my life. Sitting on the back of the motorbike I was witness to the beauty that surrounded me, wild flowers in the most alluring jewel tones, dogs walking their owners, and cafe goers sipping their cafe macchiatos. It was the small details that caught my eye. My stresses seemed to drift away, dissolved into the hum of the engine, and time seemed to stand still.
This adventure served to remind me why I moved to Europe. I made a grand step into the direction of the unknown in order to learn and grow, to be curious about the world. Taking the time out of the ordinary to do something so simple was extraordinary. Realizing these special moments, playing tourist & traveler, are in fact my life blood. They make me feel alive, happy and free. Wherever the road is about to lead, I want to catch the ride.