I’m glad that I made a point of leaving the UK for a short trip two weeks ago during a break from the hectic schedule at work.
Some friends of mine were in Barcelona and they invited me to join them. It was a great chance to escape the grim weather in London and get some vitamin D. Barcelona is one of my favourite places but my first trip was a little lonely because when I’m on my own and don’t speak the language in a new place I find it difficult to break free from my comfort zone.
This trip I was travelling with a friend who speaks Spanish and it’s incredible the difference it makes. I’m sure that we have all been on the other end of the conversation joking about tourists or getting frustrated when they can’t speak to us. Being the outsider for a change really reminds you just how hard it can be.
Last trip I managed to do all the tourist stuff that is essential when you are buzzing through a new city. This time it was far more relaxed and the different pace allowed us to enjoy the city in a different way. Being about to eat in local restaurants and navigate the metro was fun instead of nerve-wracking. My anxiety makes me fearful and very nervous in places that I don’t know and I often have to talk myself into doing a lot of the things that I do. The truth is that despite what people may think or how I may appear I have difficulty with situations that are unfamiliar. This is why travelling is important to me. Every time I go to a place I get a little bit braver and a little more confident that I can handle myself outside of my comfort zone but it’s always baby steps. It took me three days before I could even reply with a sheepish Buenos Dias to other people in my hotel lift.
I’m hoping to return to Spain after my current contract ends for about a month. I have a new adventure planned that I won’t share with you just yet. I’m still doing my research but it will be one of the most challenging things I have done so far.