The thing about people who love to travel, and in particular travel writers, is that we (do you like how I’m including myself in this?) love to talk, no wait, ramble, about every and anything we’ve experienced while out and about on our adventures, We want to share it all, and very obviously, we want the world to know. You get us talking about where the best Gelato really is in Italy, or which country can drink the most bier (cough cough Germany), and you have successfully sold away the next 4 1/2 hours of your life. Not that the conversation would be anything less than enlightening and enriching, but nonetheless, it would definitely not be a 5 minute supermarket conversation.
Travel writers do not want to rush things. We will, without your approval, share every last, tinsey winsey, minute and minuscule detail with you, that will have you absolutely thinking that you were there yourself; like you blacked out during the live actual event, but all of the sudden, remember everything that had occurred. You can recount the story yourself, the story which you were not involved with, without needing help or assistance, because the person that told it to you honored the “no detail left behind” act.
We want you to not just hear the story, but envision and feel yourself actually there. We don’t want to simply tell you about the meal of lomo (thin fillets) and la papa bravas (potatoes with brave sauce) that we ate, we want you to instead smell the garlic being soaked up by the fillet and the bravas sauce being poured over the roasted potatoes, we want you to hear the birds chirping outside and the rooster crowing its relentless tune next door, we want you to touch the coldnessess of the floor beneath your bare feet, and we want you to see the memory as your own. We aren’t telling you about our journey, but rather we are sharing it with you; down to the very last detail.
Together, you and I will travel this world.
You will read about my stories and I, yours, and only through that will our worlds expand so greatly that maybe, just maybe, we can understand, really understand the human spirit. Who we are, what we want, where we came from and where we are going; we all want the same things out of life, but how do we come to come to understand that? How do we learn about ourselves and each other in the most unbiased, just kind of way? The answer: through the sharing and telling of our stories.
That said, I am actually going to go against the grain and possibly number one rule of all travel writers; I will not go into detail as seen through the lens of a microscope while on my adventure. I have read (or rather, had the ambition to read) one too many travel blogs where the writing goes on and on and on and I eventually just scroll to the bottom of the post, hoping I didn’t miss anything worthwhile. These blogs become exhausting, and then a chore, and then lastly you just give it up all together.
Well, guess what? I actually want you to read my postings, and beyond that, I want you to learn things you’ve never known about; the real nitty gritty of the culture, whichever country I’m in. If you say, just one time while reading my blog, “WOW, I never had a clue about that,” or “Over my body would I ever eat that”, well, at least you’ve been exposed to something new. And that’s when I can have a margarita because my work is done.
From here on out, I’m going to simply bullet out the things I’ve learned and done while on my travels. No long explanation, no rambling, just cut and dry the facts. Thus, when you see me in person, you can ask me about everything, in which I will explain in the minute details that I am dying to share. From what toilet paper they use in Spain, to if Spanish women shave their legs or not, all of this can be deeply discussed at a later date.
For now, here is the spark note version of my tall tale:
Who: Me, my best friends, and the European continent
What: Currently, I am living in a countryside villa in Spain, helping out a wonderful couple freshen up the place before guests come to rent it out in the next week. From applying fresh coats of paint to the poolside fence, to sweeping the back terrace, I help out where help is needed.
When: Summer of 2014
Where: Spain & Italy
Why: Why not?
Facts/Things I’ve done so far:
- I’m living with a wonderful, extraordinary couple, Gabriel and Denise. Gabriel is from Spain, Denise, from England
- They have a dog named Scruffy (or, Scruffy boy!) and a cat, Misty
- I have half the villa to myself, Gabriel and Denise live in their apartment right next door
- The countryside here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the best of ways. The hills and small pueblos that are scattered throughout the countryside are just magical.
- The pueblo I’m living in is called “Colmenar” and to this big city girl’s surprise, I absolutely love it.
- I feel like I am in the movie “Sister of the Traveling Pants”
- AND/OR Elizabeth Gilburt in “Eat, Pray, Love”
- I ate Black Pudding (Pigs blood, onion, and rice…kind of looks like a sushi roll. Once you get over the eating of eating pig’s blood, it is quite fantastic…I had seconds)
- Siestas are a REAL thing! This is because the afternoon’s get so bloody hot (I’m living with an English woman, so these words have stuck on me) that you absolutely need a siesta in order to fiesta at night
- The sun sets at around 10:30pm
- There is a goat farm next door to the villa. I met the goat farmer just yesterday…conversation didn’t quite go so well, as he didn’t know a lick of English, and I Spanish. So, I just kept pointing to his goats and nodding.
- When I don’t know what someone is saying to me in Spanish, I respond with either “Gracias” or “Si”. I have a feeling this may get me into trouble.
- The “two lane” mountain road is actually only big enough to fit one vehicle the size of a Razor scooter. But, they manage to fit two cars somehow.
- I ate pigs blood…oh wait, I already mentioned that
- First night for dinner, we ate La Papa bravas & Lomo
- La Papa Bravas=Grilled potatoes smothered in a sauce that comprises of mayo, tabasco sauce, ketchup
- Lomo=thin, pork fillets
- My dying wish is that my last meal is Gabriel’s Paella (a kind of Spanish stir fry, with clams, shrimp, and muscles.)
- I ate a partridge egg
- Contrary to American belief, Spaniards do not speak much English. I have been interpretive dancing and doing sign language in basic conversation to get my point across
- We eat dinner around 8-9 pm
- Favorite snack: Spanish bread, olive oil, salt. DELICIOSO
- Fuet is a dried sausage which is simply the most flavorful bite of sausage out there
- Did I mention they eat a lot of sausage here? Chorizo, fuet, black pudding…my bridesmaid diet is completely out the window
- Around the villa are Olive trees, Fig trees, and Almond trees. They also grow oranges and grapes here
- About a block down the street from where I live, is a gorgeous view of a mountain range. From there, you can see Mount Vernon, or otherwise known as the Sleeping Giant, as the mountains look like a giant sleeping on its back
- Wednesday night I’m going to a Spanish/English conversational mixer, in which you try and learn the language you don’t know
- My day looks like this: Wake up at 8:00, have a bowl of Musli, do some painting around the pool & help out with whatever else needs done, eat lunch around 1:00-2:00, then siesta/lay by the pool until around 5:00. Afterwards, we do a little more work, and then eat la cena around 8:00-9:00pm
- Young people listen to something called “Jungle Music”
- I’m woken up by the sound of chickens from the goat farm across the way
- And I go to sleep to the sound of the bells from the goats that are headed home
- Tapas bars/restaurants are everywhere! (And I am SO happy about it!!!)
- Tapas=Small plates, appetizers
- Today, I made an American brunch for lunch and we listened to rock and roll music. Oh, and had a glass of wine. It was divine (and that rhymes)
- Yesterday, I went into town and ate:
- Delicias de queso da cabra con salsa de cebolla caramelizada y fresa
- Translation: Goat cheese delights with caramelized onion and strawberry sauce
- Ventresca de atun con ensalada de pimientos asados
- Translation: Belly of Tuna with red pepper salad
- I am IN LOVE with the beauty and tranquility of this place. I am so, so happy:)