Almost four months ago I landed in Barcelona at 8PM wearing $80 travel pants I agonized over buying, haphazardly navigated the train, and spent the one kilometer walk to my hostel struggling with my 12 kilogram backpack and feeling so paranoid that I kept looking over my aching shoulders into the empty shadows to make sure no one was following me. Then I ate dinner alone—ordering the only thing on the menu that I could read and tipping over 20% to a very confused waiter—and went straight back to my hostel bed to find WiFi and anxiously text friends from home. I don’t think I spoke to one person all day.
Yesterday I skipped a potential Skype session to dance wildly on the beach until 3AM, found a dance partner for the night in a blonde British boy, woke up at 7AM to say goodbye to the two friends left in my hostel dorm (both of whom I hope to meet again in the upcoming months), and changed into ~$6 Thai baggy pants gifted to me by one of said friends. Then I hopped in the back of a converted pickup truck/taxi where I chatted with two guys studying in Hong Kong, barely survived a nightmare ferry ride with Jehvon and Dan, talked seasickness with a few other travelers, trusted a complete stranger to watch over my backpack while I went to the toilet, and ordered a bowl of dumplings of an unknown flavor for lunch.
This trip has given me so much already.