Today was not a great day. In fact I had a hard time motivating myself to even write this blog.
After doing laundry and heading to the bus depot to buy my ticket for tomorrow to Seville it was noon and no one was at the hostel.
I was going to go see Alhambra at 4pm and instead of heading out and exploring on an unusually nice, sunny day I stayed inside on my computer looking up things.
At 4pm I left for Alhambra which is about a 30 minute walk from my hostel. It was a nice day so I was happy to take the walk.
The thing with Alhambra is that it is a major, if not the only, tourist attraction here in Granada. In fact, you have to buy your tickets in advance for certain time slots. This, of course, means TONS of people – and not just people but tour groups moving in swarms in front of you and behind you.
For me this is exactly the experience I don’t want. I hate being in a swarm of people like that and I feel very anxious and stressed – almost like someone with claustrophobia would feel. From the moment I walked in my mindset was negative and, hence, I didn’t enjoy myself at all. In fact, my intended 4 hour stay turned into just 40 minutes as I couldn’t take it anymore and left before I saw anything of substance (I only walked through a garden).
I just wanted desperately to get back to the hostel – to my home – and relax. I wanted it so bad that I didn’t even walk home, I took a bus instead. On the bus I sat down – still anxious – and put on my headphones and listened to some Adele and some Alicia Keys. By the time I got off the bus and walked the remaining couple of blocks to the hostel I was feeling relaxed and listened to Fun (We are Young) and actually found myself dancing and strumming myself to the song as I walked back.
When I arrived at the hostel I met two 20 year old girls who had just checked in and we went for tapas. It was a great meal but I noticed that they seemed more interested in talking to each other and I had to constantly interject myself into the conversation – basically being a third wheel.
That feeling of being out of place continued through the night as a few more people in their early twenties gathered at the hostel. We were drinking but I find when I drink for awhile instead of become open and raucous I turn mellow and quiet which isn’t exactly great when everyone else is having fun.
In the end everyone went out to party for the night around 11pm and I hung back at the hostel in my bed shedding a few tears wondering what exactly am I doing on this trip. What is my goal? Why am I doing this? Am I really “finding myself” or am I just blowing twenty grand?
Then Nate – another twenty year old – the Canadian I’ve been hanging with off and on the last couple of days came into the room. Somehow he sensed that all was not great in my world and he said some things that made me feel good about myself. He actually was a really good guy – it’s a shame we’re going on our separate ways tomorrow.
After they all left I sat in my bed awhile longer and started thinking about the trip. The problem right now is the last 5 days have sucked and frankly the 3 day camel trek right before that wasn’t that great either – sure there were the camels and the desert and the crystal clear sky and stars at night – but the drive out there and back was excruciatingly long.
My last great day was just over a week ago when I was hanging out with Michelle in Marrakesh and right now that seems a lifetime ago. With a string of ho-hum days it’s very easy to forget about the good times you’ve had and the great people you’ve met along the way.
I just need to shake off the last few days and look forward. There will be some more good times and more great people and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find myself along the way…