Spain and Portugal Trip Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Prologue

I love to travel.  You know that, if you follow me on this blog. But, why?

When I travel, I pare my life down to what can fit in my suitcase (and I am ever in search of a smaller suitcase!). “The bare necessities, the simple bare necessities”… All the lyrics pertain!  I streamline my life, mentally as well as physically. I turn outward and I open myself to what I do not know, to what I have never experienced.  I close my calendar on my daily life. I put my little island of family, work and friends into a safe little holding place and I walk out to embrace something bigger, something beyond my control, something that will challenge me to act and think outside the box of my daily life. I can grow. And I embrace the experience whole-heartedly.

A vacation?  Of course!  A vacation, if we focus on the word itself, is an emptying.  An emptying of the foreground of one’s life of distractions and responsibilities.  I hear no sense of “rest” in the word.  For me a vacation demands I do something different!  What refreshes me is the new!  It is the challenge of different foods, different sights, different music and images, different words and ways of expressing myself.  Doing that is reminds me of why I love life and why I am glad to be alive! And it binds me to a greater humanity.

I am really excited about this particular trip.  I am going to places I have never been, and I am visiting a few old places again.  I am building and I am deepening, and as a result, I am growing.

This trip will take me to northern Spain; the Basque country, Galicia and Asturias; and Portugal; Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto and the Douro River by river boat.

I speak Spanish and I have been learning Portuguese.  Understanding the local language is yet another way that a culture can be understood and shared.  For me it is essential.  Words are super important in my life. For me a word is as nuanced as a photo. Both play a role in my appreciation of where I travel and I try to present both in the blog for you.

I have high expectations for this trip.  But then, I have high (as in positive) expectations for every trip I make.  I am predisposed to love the places I will go and the people I will meet.  This trip is not an exception!

And, of course, with every trip, friends come along.  Sometimes it is physically:  Greg and Cindy will join us for the river cruise on the Douro and extra days in Porto.  But it can also be figuratively!  Martin and Angeles, Jody and Max, Kitty, Angela and Jackie all made suggestions of places to stay and places to eat.  They are all accompanying me. And how would I focus on my new experiences (even remember them at all at this age) if I did not record them in this blog for my readers, few though they might be.  You are all with me on my trips.  I write this blog for you.  I want you to feel that you can see what I see and feel what I feel, and hopefully even say to yourself:  I want to go there, too! And when you do, perhaps I will be one of your psychic companions!

So come along with me to Northern Spain.  Click here to start reading.