The Thrill of Discomfort
I have some news.
It bit me again.
The travel bug.
Realistically speaking, I really don’t think it ever stopped biting me. It’s like a greedy little deer tick, barely noticeable to the naked eye, latching on and digging in and sucking my lifeblood until I can think of little else but the pleasure of meeting new people, the adventure of traversing new roads, the taste of new flavors on my tongue, the thrill of discomfort.
It matters not that I returned from a 2 month stay in Costa Rica a mere 5 months ago.
All that really means is that I’ve been suffering 5 months of withdrawals.
And I can tell you this for sure – after 2 months of high, the comedown can be a bitch.
When I talk like this, most people don’t tend to understand.
But… you have a wonderful husband, they say. And that, I do.
But… you have a nice home and adorable puppies and a comfortable bed! Yes, I’m incredibly fortunate.
But… why would you want to leave these things for the difficulty of living out of a suitcase? The pain of getting from one place to the next without the luxury of your own vehicle? The questionable cleanliness of your pillow? The struggle of communicating with people who don’t speak your language?
Because, my friends, that’s how I know I’m alive.
Travel is the pinch I give myself when life starts to feel too much like a mundane dream. It’s a pleasant dream, to be sure. Comfortable. But you know how sometimes you get too comfortable and you fall asleep and your entire leg goes numb from lack of circulation – stimulation – and you have to beat on it just to get it to wake back up and feel something again?
It’s like that.
Like I said. Most people don’t understand.
The good news is that this time, Justin is going with me. Or maybe I should say I’m going with him. Because, as is our fashion when we’re taking a “big” trip, we’re visiting someone we know. It’s one of the best ways to make an otherwise unattainably expensive trip… attainable. Besides, there’s no better way to experience a locale than to travel with a “local.”
We’re visiting one of Justin’s sisters, Becca, and her boyfriend Bradley, who have been living in Spain for the past 2 years.
That’s right – Spain.
They spend their time teaching English to students in Spanish classrooms and traveling around Europe. And sometimes Africa.
I know. It’s a rough life.
And since they’ve decided to move stateside again at the end of the school year to pursue even higher education, Justin and I realized that if we want to visit Spain while knowing someone who lives there, it might be now or never.
We’ve never actually met Bradley. Becca met him while they were both working on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean and it’s all very magical and romantic. I’m excited because I already know I love Becca and, based on his blog musings and awesome taste in music (just read the linked post comments), I’m pretty sure Bradley and I are going to be friends.
Plus, he’s a huge planner and Justin actually likes to have a schedule (I know – he’s weird), so Becca and I can just go with the flow. It’s pretty much the perfect situation.
While I’m slightly bummed we won’t have time to see much of mainland Spain or any of Portugal (one of my dream places to see), we will get to experience two completely different and amazing Mediterranean islands, Ibiza and Formentera. So I can’t complain.
And, based on preliminary Google image searches, on Ibiza we’re going to experience a lot of this:
And on Formentera a lot of this:
I. Can’t. Wait.
I’d take Formentera, skip Ibiza and squeeze in Portugal.
Something tells me you’d take Ibiza too if someone really wanted you to go. It’s an island, so I’m pretty sure they have beaches, too. ;) I guess I’ll just have to see Portugal in another trip!
Haha, I was wondering when you were going to share the news! So excited to see oyu guys! Brush up on your Spanish!
SUUUUPER excited over here!! So not ready. I remember like 4 Spanish words, so yeah… definitely need to brush up. And I’m guessing the Spanish there is a little different than the Spanish in Costa Rica.
It still doesn’t feel like it’s really happening!!! Like most trips for me, it probably won’t feel real until we’re on the plane (sitting comfortably in our complimentary upgraded first class seats, fingers crossed. ;)
Hey Chickie, sounds awesome. When are you going, I have a cool travel book on Spain you can have!
End of May/early June. Can you believe we’re FINALLY getting overseas after you’re getting back to the states??! Figures…
When can I see you??
First, I am so jealous that you get to go to Spain! How exciting and I wish you lots of amazing adventures, food, and people meeting.
Second, I felt like you put my feelings about traveling into the perfect blogpost. Austin and I just got back from a month-long trip to Taiwan three months ago and I’m already Googling plane tickets to Thailand and New Orleans and London. I have that itch too. That unbearable desire to live out of a suitcase, see new things every day, and to have my comfortable day-to-day existence shaken. And I agree, the comedown from a great trip is always the worse. I can always expect a week of being bored and depressed as a result.
I’ve only been a week into my new full-time corporate job and I’m already missing the freedom of being a server and taking whole weeks off to travel. What’s ironic is that I took the job to save money for traveling…
Janie, that’s always the catch of those 9-5’s. They hook you with a great salary, but then you learn that, if you were hoping to spend the money traveling, you’re pretty much screwed because you have no vacation time! ;) If you’re lucky though, you can learn to make yourself indispensable, and some employers will work with you to let you take an unpaid leave of absence. I could have done that with my old job, but I was DONE.
Hang in there – you’ll find a way to make the travel happen. I’m glad you “got” what I was saying. :)
YAY!!!! I’m so happy to hear this news!!! I LOVED Spain. Beautiful women everywhere. You should definately go to the beach and do as the locals do: go topless. ;) Ahhh.. sweet, sweet memories….
Hahaha. That might have been great for you, but for me that likely just means low self esteem. :) There will definitely be beach time involved, and although I think topless sunbathing would be completely liberating, I’m not sure if that would be awkward with Justin and his sister! Haha
Is there room in your suitcase for a little one? ;)
Hi, Nicole! Are you talking about yourself, or a kid? We always have room for more friends, but I don’t do so well with children. ;)
Need to also ask you how you got ‘home’ to appear in your top menu using this theme?
I actually started with a different theme, and when I transferred to this one, it automatically added the home page from my old one. I think if you go to “pages” from your wordpress dashboard, you should be able to add it there.
So jealous & excited for you, too! I’m sure you’ll have tons of great pics to share of your trip. I’d be over the moon. What fun to be able to enjoy Spain with “locals.” Can’t wait for the trip pics.
I know! I can’t wait… Too bad I don’t have the money to go get a bunch of cute clothes and bathing suits, but at least I have a little less than 2 months to try to get rid of the rest of that winter (and fudge Bailey’s cookies) pudge! :)
Nice Katie! That’s awesome, I’ve heard many great things about Spain. I also very much like the part of this post where you are trying to explain the idea of travel and recently returning and how even though you have everything you need here you’d rather give most of that up to be able to experience other things. so unbelievably true!
Sorry I havn’t replied to your email yet, I’ve had such a busy week, I havn’t even had a chance to write anything on WP in a while. I’ll have to change that tomorrow though.
When is this trip by the way? Soon?
Thanks, Nate! Yeah… the travel bug is something that’s pretty hard to explain to people who don’t have it themselves. I’m sure you’ve run across that before, too. We’re heading out at the end of May, so there’s still some anticipation time before we head out. No worries about the email – I was just trying to help you out with the whole work exchange idea. I hope it helped!
Yes, I’ve been missing your posts – get back ON that! :)
wow! spain is brilliant and i totally understand the wanderlust… i have it baaaad
I’m still jealous of your multiple trips to Portugal!
Girl – you are not helping my situation right now! I totally have the travel bug. Can I come with you? I’m jealous of your adventure. I’m sure you will have fun.
Thanks so much for your recent comments on my blog. Perhaps door number 4 is Spain! It has been a thought that I have had for awhile… My brother is there now touring and playing music…. It’s not that crazy.
Haha, so sorry! But not really – I think you know what you need. :)
And hey, if you have some vacation time and your brother is in Spain, maybe you should take a trip! And I know it sounds crazy, but if you and your brother have any desire to visit the islands of Ibiza or Formentera while we’re there, I think it would be awesome to meet up!
WOW! How exciting! I am uber jealous of you over here, but I can’t wait to read about your travels. You must commit to blogging while in Spain – I want to hear all about it and see lots of pics!
[…] And I couldn’t wait. […]