It’s hard to believe that five years ago, my good friend Meredith and I were experiencing a series of unfortunate travel events that would come to be known as our spring break in Spain. We had just met a few months before while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and decided to travel together to Barcelona, Madrid, and Palma de Mallorca during the 10-day break.
The trip was awesome in both the common and literal meaning of the word. It started with an airline/booking website error that cost us a day of our vacation and about 20 hours talking with call centers (after which we became easy pros at sleeping in any sort of train, station, airport, or even plane). When I think back on the 4 a.m. call with “Neo” in India who finally helped us salvage our trip; or my rooster alarm noise that had one man thinking there was a chicken in my pack; or the toweled man who slimily invited us into his hostel rom; or the bar that served absinthe with instructions; or the noisy Italian teenagers in Barcelona, it’s hard not to laugh and reminisce fondly (although we were quite stressed when these events actually unfolded).
That spring break in Spain was all part of a larger experience: my first time spending an extended period overseas. It’s hard to describe how much of an impact it had on me, but I’ll suffice it to say that it marked some sort of turning point. Ever since then, I thought of my college years, and my life to some extent, as pre- or post-Italy. It was during these five months that I first succumbed to the travel bug — a condition that I hope is chronic.
So here’s to the five-year anniversary of that crazy spring break. May more travel shenanigans (of the fun variety!) be in the future.