How sad is it to be a blogger without internet?
I can’t believe I have been in the country for nine days already. On one hand, the part of me that feels the clock ticking on my stay here thinks that I’ve only just arrived. On the other hand, the part of me that knows how to navigate the Metro with ease and where to go to find Wi-Fi feels like I’ve been in Madrid for much longer.
I think that I’m going to have to do a recap of the last week and a half in series since it has taken me so long to actually sit down and write (which is good though because it means that I have been too busy living). Let’s start from the beginning.
International airplane travel
Surviving my first flight across the ocean
It wasn’t the fact that I had maybe 40 minutes of sleep and had to drag myself from my bed at 3 a.m. that made me cry. It wasn’t the heaviness of my bag sinking into my shoulders or the realization that I would be lugging all of these things for the next three months. It wasn’t even the fact that I was leaving my family for the first time.
What made a few tears slowly drip down my sleep-deprived face was taking my dog out for a walk in the morning’s dark and realizing that it was probably the last time that I would ever see him.
While I love the idea of spending time away from my normal life, it is hard to accept that some things might not be around by the time I get back.
The good thing about adventures is that there’s rarely time to let any one emotion fester in your gut for too long before you have the next obstacle to overcome.
I gave Sprite a final hug, pulled myself together as best I could to say goodbye to my little brother and was off to the airport with the rest of my family.
Within a couple of hours I was on a plane to New Jersey where I had a five-hour layover and then I was really off on my adventure.
The thing is I have a slight fear of flying. Very slight, but enough for me to wonder how I was going to do with eight hours over the big, fat ocean.
When my mom was my age, her older brother died in a plane crash. I grew up seeing how nervous she would get about flying (and rightfully so. I don’t even know if I would be able to fly if that happened to me.) and I think it rubbed off on me.
You can see why I was surprised when I was nothing but excited to fly. This just served as a reminder to me that the human mind is a completely amazing thing.
The week before I left I went indoor rock climbing to have some bonding time with my brother. Instead of top roping (where you are harnessed in and climb up high) he prefers bouldering (where you just free climb at a lower height… as in nothing holding on to you…). Bouldering terrifies me but I was determined to try and keep up for the sake of being a good sport.
I managed to climb up to the top of the structure and then realized that I had no idea how I was going to get down. My little limbs trembled against the face of the wall as panic set in. My brother laughed a little and said,
“You just have to jump.”
Looking down made me cling to the wall tighter and I resisted his advice until I realized that I was out of feasible options (the fire department doesn’t send people to rescue girls stuck 5 ft. off of the ground right? Yeah I didn’t think so. Just checking.).
I jumped backwards, landed butt-first on the mats and found myself still alive.
I jumped on the plane, we jumped across the ocean and I jumped on the Metro in a new city with nothing but too heavy luggage and a rusty set of Spanish skills.
Sometimes you just have to jump.