This post has been hanging out in my drafts folder for some time now. I have been reluctant to post it, as it seems a little dark and depressing, and only reflects a very minimal part of my time here in Spain. I wrote this short story in a time, where I needed an outlet for some unhappy thoughts. I have lived in 5 different countries over the past (almost) 2 years, and while it is a great adventure to live abroad, there are moments of isolation. Especially when you don’t speak the local language, it is easy to feel alone or unwanted. Often people tell me how jealous they are of my exciting multicultural life, not knowing the hardships that it comes with. However, I have learnt to deal with these very few moments of misery. When traveling it is important to have a thick skin, and propel yourself into happiness when the going gets rough. So here’s the the cold hard truth about a shitty day in my life. The good thing about it is that it passed.
I’m seated at a table in a fancy and trendy restaurant; blood red lips, sky high heels and on fleek with my white blazer. I’m staring at my extortionately expensive and ridiculously small, yet extremely delicious salmon dinner, and wonder why there isn’t enough wine in my glass. Then I look up at the faces around me. I watch the girl across the table listen intensely to the conversation. I catch her eye briefly and smile. What’s her name again? We’ve met a couple of times, had a several drinks together and are now sharing a meal, yet I can’t recall her name or what she does or where she’s from. I turn and try to concentrate on the rapid Spanish coming from the right side of the table. It sounds loud, fast and important, yet I don’t understand a single word. I tune out and watch how all the other girls are fixated on the speaker, eyes stuck to her like a pig in mud. I turn to look at the talker. I don’t think she’s ever really liked me, but at least the feeling is mutual. I look one more time around the table; the girl I go partying with, the girl I practice my Spanish with, the random girl from the random bar that night, that friend of a friend of a friend, and last but not least that person I met on Couch Surfing a month ago. We had lost contact and haven’t seen each other in weeks. How did she all of a sudden resurface? Why is she here? … then it hits me: why am I here? I get up and leave.
A lot of travel bloggers post solely about the amazing experiences and adventures they undergo in their quest to wander the world. And yes, they hear, see, taste and smell things that us mortals can only dream of. The pictures they post are more than perfect, leaving us full of jealousy and awakening our own inner wanderlust. Travelling is a wonderful thing, a great privilege and also a big part of my life, but it has a dark-side, which is often ignored.
This feeling motivated me even more to learn the language, which has given me purpose and changed my perception of life here fundamentally. I am enjoying every part of Madrid, and can now say that I have found incredible people on my journey to happiness. I am grateful for the experience described above, as it tested my strength. I can now look back and see just how far I have come.