“So cling with purpose to that which makes you whole. As all vibrance is devoured by the binding void, lend hope to this mysterious Traveler, Their hand shall awaken Convergence, and the dawn of remembrance will rise eternal. “
I saw this quote randomly at Meow Wolf in Denver and it was sort of a revelation to me after the craziness of the last three years. Not only had COVID wreaked havoc on the entire world causing millions of deaths and nationwide lockdowns, but I had stared death in the face like I never had before. I was put on a machine that breathed for me and sliced open like an Iberian pig so they could replace my aorta that had it coming for almost 40 years. Fear of Death is a demon that has lingered for me since an early age, I have always fought it off with escapes, not always healthy ones, but these last few years have been harder to do that with the escapes available being limited, but when I saw this quote it made me realize that TRAVEL IS MY GREAT ESCAPE.
Travel is different for everyone, it means different things to different people, there are different types, styles and ways to travel and as you age, travel even changes for yourself. At 40 I am now officially in my 4th stage of travel. There was the first, the innocent stage when my parents would make all the decisions and all I had to do was get in the conversion van and watch the taped episodes of Sports Center my cousin had recorded on the vhs from 3 weeks prior or throw on a teal blue family band tour style T-shirt my uncle had made as we all hopped on a plane together on the way to some unknown far away locations where magical adventures and lifetime memories would occur that I still look back on today and can laugh for hours on end with my family and friends. Second phase is well to put bluntly the blurry phase where I would start drinking on the way to wherever we were going, drink some more when we got there, then drink some more while doing some other activities, then continue drinking until next thing I knew I was back at home, hello Jersey shore homies and college trip to Ireland. This phase was fun in the moment but proved quite difficult to remember the experiences. Third Phase was actually planning a trip and wanting to experience the people, the food, the culture oh and of the course the drinks. This phase is when I really found myself as a traveler and when I really immersed myself in the Anthony Bourdain style of travel, from Puerto Rico to Italy to Hungary I researched it all, I knew how the locals acted what they ate where they went and what they drank and I wanted to do the same, in abundance of course, while also meeting and talking to locals as best I could. This new 4th one is similar but with a kid and for me that means putting his happiness first so on this trip to Spain I adopted a mantra Tapas, Park, Tapas, Sight, Tapas(or Pintxos depending on where we were), Nap with a little help of from the local beverages 😉 and this mantra and my kid far and away exceeded my expectations.
Cash has travel in his blood and as long as he gets to visit parks in these far away locations and some nights he can have chicken nuggets or pasta he enjoyed the hell out of it. It is important to remember when traveling with kids that they are like sharks and can sense fear, so it is very important that no matter the situation you find yourself in this foreign far-away land with this language you may not understand that you must try and KEEP YOUR COOL at all costs.
My Great Escape to Spain was magical, it was a trip of a lifetime (that hopefully I can have 40 more of). I planned this trip around San Sebastian because Anthony Bourdain called it the best food city in Europe. As you can most likely tell he has had a pretty big influence on my life for someone I never met and did not know, he reminds me of the Hemmingway of my generation, he gave me the permission to dream of a life of travel. I know it sounds weird, but I’m glad he had the impact he had on my life, because I am enjoying the ride and living my best life. So on that note I wish you, Happy Bourdain Day!
Throughout my travels I found Spain to be a family friendly, affordable, diverse country that really quenched my thirst for adventure. After not leaving the States for over two years, it was the perfect place to explore and experience life. I could truly live in Spain and with the Golden Visa it offers (or if Cash becomes the next Messi), who knows if we get lucky enough maybe one day we will. Over the next several weeks I will publish accounts of our family and friends extraordinary escapades throughout Spain’s spectacular areas of Barcelona, the Rioja Region, San Sebastian, and Madrid. I hope you enjoy them and are able to visit these extraordinary locations some day soon as well. Muchas Gracias! Hasta Entonces, -Tiz