We crossed spacious streets, with building resembling palaces, in La Rambla promenade; the shops were well illuminated and there was movement and life… I did not decide to go to sleep, even though I wished to, so I could rise early and contemplate, in daylight, this city, unknown to me: Barcelona, capital of Catalonia. – Hans Christian Andersen
One of the most glorious pleasures in life is to travel alone, to enjoy your own company and take life at your own pace. It’s a time to be utterly selfish with your time and priorities, for me its a form of self-care that I hope I never have to stop performing.
Sometimes I take for granted the fact that I am so comfortable travelling alone, in some instances I prefer it, at 24 I spent six months travelling around Europe alone which opened my eyes and my heart to travel and that hour in the morning when the rest of the world sleeps. When the light is more of a glow, the cool air warms around you in a comforting way and the only other souls out respect you peace. This may be the only hour in the day that I stop and enjoy the quiet, my breathes become longer and deeper. My thoughts only focus on the stillness around me, its pure magic and can be found anywhere in the world.
I try and squeeze in one holiday away a year by myself, I happily sit in the picnic having picnics, take myself out for dinner in restaurants I want to visit. Spend hours getting lost around gallies and museums, it gives my soul the freedom it yens for.
I have only ever visited mainland Spain once before and that was my hen do to Benidorm (not even sure you can count that as Spain) of which the only thing I actually remember is getting my then fiances name tattooed on the back of my neck (that is what 12 hours drinking in the sun will do to you). Ironically the tattoo lasted longer than the husband although that a story for another day.
The thing that shocks me most about travelling alone is other peoples reactions “you’re so brave”, “aren’t you scared” and “I couldn’t do that” this is a brave new world and I am pretty sure people of been exploring this plant alone for a good few years now!
Not for one minute do I think I am brave, for me it is as normal as breathing. I know me better then anyone else and I know that I will be royally pissed at myself at the end of my self if I woke up with any regrets. Especially if that regret was because I was waiting for someone else. I get incredibly frustrated watching other people not doing what they want for fear of
Not feeling strong enough to do it alone.
Feeling Silly to do it alone.
All my friends are busy.
Very early on I decided I wasn’t going to have children because I wanted to see as much of the world as humanly possible and yes, I know you can do both but you can’t be selfish about both one will always be the comprise. I mean sure I could take children anywhere in the world with me but could I do 3am hikes to watch the sunrise? Stay out drinking until 4am? Or can I jump on the back of a random (hot) Italian guys scooter for a tour of Rome?
Over the last ten years since making that choice I have wondered a couple of times if I did actually or eventually want kids (still don’t) it always comes back to wanting to watch the sunrise is as many counties as possible. It might be a totally selfish reason but surely having a child is a totally selfish decision. People no longer have children to keep the town elders happy they have them because they want a family. I just want to travel as much as possible, as far as possible to every corner of the world even if that is alone (and please no, you may change your mind comments on the kids)
Anyway, I have gotten a bit ranty, back to Barcelona! The things I will do for a cheap flight now involve setting a 2am alarm to get to the airport on time. I only had two nights in Barcelona so wanted to make the most out the time available which meant an early flight out and a late one back which really did actually feel like three full days there. Three days also felt like just enough time there. I have real anxiety about timekeeping, I am ten minutes early (at least 10 minutes) for everything, thanks, dad! So I tend to park at the airport which actually costs a small fortune, at this cost, it cost 50% of the actual holiday cost but least I know I will be there on time and I will have my car nearby, also I think I have control issues.
Part of those control issues also means I have a thing about hotels. In Barcelona, I found a four-star hotel for £57 a night although it was 3 miles out of the city. Its sister hotels in the heart of the heart were a £140 a night almost three times more. For the sake of three miles and my peace of mind (the controlling piece), it was well worth it and technically what I saved could actually pay for me to visit Barcelona again. Luckily there was a train station across the road and around the corner, no more than a four-minute walk from the hotel which involved a ten-minute ride into the city. As a side note their trains actually run to a timetable (insert sideways glance to virgin trains).
I arrived in a very overcast miserable looking Spain, not exactly the blue skies I had been dreaming of but it was still an improvement to the rain/sleet skies of the UK. You can’t take more than ten steps in Barcelona without coming across beautiful architecture.
I am organised in the sense I will look at things to do before I go but relaxed enough to just see how I feel and see what I stumble upon. Unfortunately for you I don’t research places to photograph for the picture gram, I have no crazy clothes/location spreadsheets to follow. Might also be why I have less than 2000 followers. So for the next week, I will be posting all my tourist pictures from Barcelona and hopeful a few less rants!