Thursday, February 13, 2014

European Utopia

Seville on a beautiful Sunday.
Part of the gardens in the Alcázar palace.
Me and Miss Jaclyn.
Was a little obsessed with this street. (Look at the fruit trees!)
A little alleyway taste of Arcos!

It's one o'clock in the morning on a Wednesday and I am sitting amongst cushions in the upstairs part of a cozy little bar in Seville, Spain. It is packed with people - some on chairs, some cross-legged on the floor, and the room is dimly lit with old mirrors leaning up against the wall, oriental rugs spread across the floor, and an old door with legs underneath serving as a table. The sweet smell of weed creeps into my nostrils from two tables down as I regard two girls in a passionate discussion next to me. (Although they are speaking in Spanish, I can immediately identify the situation as a boy problem.) My mind is flooded with images from the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face where she is dressed in all black and talking to people in a swanky little bar (that scene was in Paris, but it gives you an idea of the mood). Downstairs you can hear drunken slurs, the clinking of wine glasses, and a Beatles song muffled behind the noise. I take a sip from my own wine glass as my newly made French friend looks over at me and asks me in French, "How are you?" A big smile stretches across my face and I respond, “Perfect."

Last week, I got the wonderful opportunity to visit my friend Jaclyn in Spain for four days. Even though everything wasn't exactly as I expected, I still had a great trip and got to catch up with my friend and make some more new friends. The first night I flew into Seville (after a torturous 8 hour layover in Barcelona) and after eating some tapas, Jaclyn and I met up with a group of her friends. We ended up in a small, little apartment that was owned by a lovely British girl. You know how some people just have a certain aura about them? Well this girl was one of them. She was gorgeous with a head full of curly brown hair, olive skin, a smooth British accent, and she was playing the role of the perfect hostess. Also in the group was a tall Spanish guy that had a guitar in hand almost all night, a stylish looking French guy (which I immediately became friends with), and a fellow American from San Diego sporting a mustache and a flannel shirt like a true hipster. (Not going to lie, it made me a little homesick.) We spent well into the wee hours of the morning talking, drinking, drawing, and listening to music. The next day Jaclyn showed me around Seville, which I must say is an amazing city. It is sunny and lined with fruit trees on almost every street and Spanish architecture is just to die for. We went to this one old palace that seemed to have an Arabian theme to it, and it was absolutely breathtaking. I must say the gardens were my favorite part. After being in cloudy, cold weather it was quite literally a breath of fresh air to be among palm trees and the sun. As Jaclyn put it, this place felt like Disneyland for adults. After a day in Seville, we took a two hour bus ride to Jaclyn's town Arcos de La Frontera. It is a cute little city where all the buildings are painted white because, as I was told, it gets unbearably hot in the summer so the buildings must reflect the sun. I spent three days relaxing, catching up with Jaclyn, meeting her three amazing American friends (shout out to the three of you! Y'all are precious and the best.) and even taking a spin class! It definitely didn't hurt that our instructor was a handsome, muscular Spanish man with a great smile.

Sometimes I have these 'ah-ha' moments where I can really see myself living in France or somewhere else in Europe. The lifestyle here is much more laid back and there are so many other young people that share a passion for traveling and discovering new places. When I see people my age like this I think, why couldn't I do the same? I often have these thoughts, but at the same time I have days when I really miss the United States and I really miss my friends. I am also anxious/excited to get the next part of my life started back in the U.S. It's a difficult decision that I am often pondering. But I think in the end, only time and most likely a little return trip home will help me reach my final decision. 

1 comment:

  1. So I know I'm biased but you're a freakin' good writer! Love you and miss you!