In this mini-series of blog posts, I revisit my translated travel notes from 15 years ago, when I quit my job in Munich to start a new life. If you missed the first post, you can find it here.
BarceLOCA!January 13th, 2008 – 3.21pm I’ve been in Barcelona for a few days now, and as the locals call it: BarceLOCA, crazy Barcelona! In the hostel, a small, and nice international group of people has come together:
with Reini from Latvia, Fabrizio from Paraguay, Gabrielle and Camilla from Brazil, and of course yours truly. Over the last few days, we conquered the streets together. We told stories from our homelands and exchanged many experiences. I was impressed by the stories of the Favelas in Brazil, the isolated slums controlled by drug lords, visits of the police usually ending with shootings. Meanwhile, the best parties in the country take place there as well… With Fabrizio and Reini we managed to start a little guitar session at night because both of them also play guitar – Reini is more into Jazz and Bossanova, while Fabrizio shares my musical taste with rock music and blues. It was also Fabrizio who delayed his farewell, as he was actually not allowed to be in Europe anymore due to his temporary residence permit, which he was then reminded of at the train station to Milan.
It would be sufficient that he takes a flight to Switzerland, since this is located outside of Europe, and then he could fly back to Europe, with which his stay would be valid for another 3 months (the bureaucracy!)… However, he also missed this flight after a night of drinking with us, so he stayed with us for another day. We also met David from Prague, who got robbed and now had no job, no money, and therefore no hostel. Actually, he only wanted to ask for money, but since that wasn’t a solution, Reini and I took it upon ourselves to find a job or place to stay for him. We spent the day together, and in the evening met an acquaintance of David, who promptly offered us a private room for 10 Euro/night, cheaper than the hostel, but in a familiar atmosphere. Shortly after, David also found a job as a flyer distributor, which meant that he had some money and a roof over his head again within a very short time. At the moment I am looking for a ride up North to walk the pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela. Shouldn’t I find one, I probably stay for another night, because the American who rented me the place is pretty easy-going. Time for me to get going again. Until next time.
As with any good travel story, this one was filled with a multitude of experiences, thrilling encounters, and the opportunity to meet new people – a true adventure.
Reading these journal entries today in 2023 is a strange experience, as the person who had those adventures sometimes seems like a completely different person.
While these early journals are kinda charming, the real adventure is just beginning.
A young man must break free from his routine and find his own path, which he has been unable to do in his hometown. So, he sets off on a journey into the unknown, complete with all the challenges and opportunities that come with it: adventure, uncertainty, risk, danger, wisdom, triumphs, and setbacks.
As in any good story, there will be obstacles to overcome.
And there will certainly be dragons to confront along the way.
There will also be helpers to guide the way – an inner voice, wisdom shared by others, a word of encouragement, or a warning given at the right moment.
The plot thickens.