The day has finally come and I’m a bit weary.
The first leg of the trip didn’t start so well. Catching a small cold a few days prior, my phone battery died upon entering the Denver Airport, and even lost flight reservation. Apparently they couldn’t locate my flight because the third party did not enter my birth date on the itinerary. While all the US counters and overseas airlines were closed after hours, luckily, I came early enough to sort over an hour long phone call.
Despite all the set backs so quickly, I know they are lessons for future check ins.
Had a long layover in NYC where I was able to take a much needed sleep at my friends apartment. She kindly gave me her keys while working as I surprised her with a matcha latte. I was so grateful for a quiet place to close my eyes. The white noise of construction outside pushed me into hours of sleep. Managed to squeeze in lunch with an old friend, but all I could stomach was ginger beer. I crawled back to her apartment couch where I slept for a couple more hours.
Realizing how rough the other half of this flight will probably be, I grabbed the subway back to JFK where I connected my next leg, Ponta Delgata. This little island located far off the coast of Portugal seemed like a beautiful place to call my final destination. While it was tempting, I went through customs, got my passport stamped and continued to my final flight into Spain.
The medicine was catching up to me and I felt delirious arriving into Barcelona. I was mildly surprised that I didn’t have to go through customs or get a stamp. I brushed off the idea that I illegally entered the country and was ready to dust off my Spanish. Navigating the train from the airport was challenging as it did not correlate to any of the previous maps I pulled up when I had Wi-Fi. Each time I asked for instructions, I would only recall the first part of what they said and would proceed to ask the next person. It was a constant game of breadcrumbs leading me to the next train, the next metro, the final bus.
I stumbled into my hostel around 2:30pm or whatever time it was in this foreign zone. Upon checking in I immediately went to my bed, took off my shoes, and without hesitation, proceeded to fall asleep for another many hours.
Awoke in the evening to unfamiliar voices out the window. The streets were alive and people were emerging from their dwellings. I decided it would be a good time to catch sunset at the Sagrada Familia Church. I’ve always been drawn to the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. His whimsical, oriental and gothic style challenges the world of engineering. I love the way he stays playful while introducing functional innovations in his building.
I returned to the Wi-Fi of the hostel to find ramen. I hadn’t eaten a proper meal in over 72 hours and I had just enough of an appetite for a warm soup. The first spot was closed so I circled back to the hostel entrance to use the Wi-Fi to find another location. The second spot was sold out of ramen. I must have circled the neighborhood three times until I finally found a small Chinese den that served homemade noodles.
Five euros later I was walking down the bustling street, with the hint of my first smile. The night was young and I cradled the warm bowl of Togo noodles as if it was the only thing that mattered in the world. As far as I was concerned, in this moment it was. I had yet to invest in anything in this new place and had zero expectations aside from devouring this hot soup and waking up tomorrow morning with a fresh hope for the future.