Focus for a moment on the images above. Notice how one of these things is not like the others? The first picture is of Opium, a breathtaking nightclub on the water filled with beautiful people in Barcelona. That is where I was Friday night. The second picture is of Bay to Breakers, San Francisco's annual massive race/street party aka the greatest event of the year hands down. That is where I was Sunday, in my warrior costume. The third picture is a cubicle. In a climate-controlled sterile office. That's where I was today.
Is it just me, or does life have a way of leaping from one extreme to the next? A week ago I was in Paris eating creme brulee and now I'm glued to the couch going through a box of kleenex (it was basically inevitable that I would get sick considering the amount of germs I've been exposed to in the last two weeks. That doesn't sound right but it stays). Anyway, you may have guessed that I've been traveling in Europe--Germany, France, Italy and Spain to be exact, which explains my absence. It's really annoying because if I don't write for a while I start blogging my experiences in my head...as I'm experiencing them. It's incredibly cheesy.
I don't want to go into full detail about Europe because, let's be honest, hearing about other people's trips is kind of boring. I could tell you how amazing this:
were, but really its not the same unless you experience it first-hand.
And no, I didn't hook up with any European men. That seems to be what most of my friends really want to know. Ok, I may or may not have made out with a Parisian in a nightclub. But making out isn't the same as "hooking up"(it's 2010). Besides, only God can judge me, and I visited a LOT of churches on this trip so I'm golden.
There is one thing I absolutely have to discuss that was discovered on this trip, however. It is the French hot dog. I'm not even sure where or how I procured one of these, but it was around 6 am on Sunday morning after a long night out and it was mind blowing. Imagine a fresh baguette shelled out with not one, but TWO hot dogs inside, smothered in melted cheese. This description doesn't even do it justice. I would show a picture, but the picture REALLY doesn't do it justice; it just looks gross. You'll just have to take my word on this one...it definitely would give the bacon dog cart a run for its money.
So did I have a great trip? Yes I did. But I'm not going to sugarcoat it...there were some challenging moments. Traveling isn't all hot foreign men and amazing food. There is also lugging a 40 pound suitcase up and down the stairs of the metro station, and searching for the Catacombs for 30 minutes only to discover that they are closed. Oh, and not to mention Spanish boys at Opium who act like they want to dance with you but really just want to pickpocket you.
I think because being in a foreign country brings you so far out of your element, you have no choice but to adapt and in turn grow stronger. Still, my favorite memories from this trip were the moments when I felt at home even though I was so far from it. Stumbling through the streets arm in arm with my new friend Nevena to McDonald's after a night of drinking and dancing in Munich, or sitting on my old friend Nikole's couch in Italy listening to her strum the guitar and sing Michael Franti...these were the moments that made all those hours in planes, trains and buses worth it.
And as always, every time I leave I'm reminded of how much I love San Francisco upon my return. There could have been no better welcome than the always-epic Bay to Breakers with my "tribe". So, as much as my nose is running right now, I guess I really can't complain. That is precisely what makes life beautiful...the lows make the highs that much better!