I’ve been back in Barcelona for a little over two weeks now, and it has been quite the delicious whirlwind. Meetings to help plan upcoming events, great parties with friends, meeting lots of new people, exploring the city a bit more, feeling root tendrils starting to sprout and grab hold.
This is a wonderful place, and I feel really lucky to have landed in the midst of an excellent community – thanks to Nowhere, Italian Burning Weekend and the extended Burning Man community in general. Each day seems to present me with the chance to meet another new handful of people.
I’m going to be returning to the United States for about a month, and it’s a little weird: I’m thrilled to see my tribe in Seattle and visit family in North Carolina, but Barcelona already feels so much like home that I know I’ll miss it while I’m away.
This is not a bad problem to have, I realize. I’m a lucky man. Some of that is what I have created by deciding to tear myself away from the comfort of Seattle and ride off into the relative unknown, but much of it is serendipity. Landing in the right camp at Nowhere (thanks to Margherita for responding to my shout-out for a camp to join), a couple of visits prior to the most recent return, friends here helping me with connections for places to stay … yes. Lucky. Blessed, perhaps, though that’s a word I use with reservations.
And now that i’m looking to settle here, it feels that all of Europe is my oyster, laden with pearls to sample. Of course, I’ll be working soon so my freedom to pop off to another spot for as long as I want will be curtailed, but with the prevalence of cheap airlines, everything is within a quick reach. I foresee trips to Italy, Vienna, Stockholm and Berlin in the coming months, and I’m sure more things will crop up to lure me out into new adventures. I’d love to go back to London for a little more exploration, and maybe return to Paris now that I know a bunch of people there.
Of course, there’s so much going on here that it’s going to be hard to schedule those times away without feeling like I’m missing something great close to home. For example, Primavera Sound and Sonar are two big music festivals coming up in the next couple of months. Festivals aren’t usually my thing, but there are definitely some acts at both I’d really enjoy seeing. Portishead will be here soon. And there are so very many beautiful twisty mountain roads to go explore on my motorcycle.
Again, there are certainly worse problems to have. I hope I’m not coming off as too smug – that’s certainly not my intention! I simply feel a little amazed and overwhelmed between friends, events, potential trips, and more. It’s a welcome change from the solo time I had in Morocco, where (other than a couple of brief stops) I had a challenging time making connections with people. It was a very introverted period for me. Not a bad thing, mind you – I appreciated having the opportunity to reflect on my adventures and journeys and connections made since leaving Seattle almost eleven months ago, and to look forward to creating and discovering new possibilities in my new home.
I wish that the timing of this trip back to the US would be a little different. In my ideal world, I’d have time to find a place here and start to settle just a tiny bit before returning to the States. But circumstances demand my return now – things in storage need to be dealt with on a much more compressed timeframe than previously anticipated. Ah well, so be it. I’ll go back for a while, then come here and find a kick-ass place to live, dive into work and Spanish lessons and friends and springtime and joy! (Of course, there will be plenty of joy to be had back in the US.)
Sometimes I see my life to this point as a series of books: _The East Coast Years_ and _Pacific Northwest_ are mostly written. The new book, as yet unnamed, probably starts on 18/4/2011. Maybe this trip back to Seattle is the epilogue for the second volume.
I can’t wait to see how volume three shapes up! No matter what happens, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be good.