Yesterday I took a walk.
My intention was to walk a few blocks to stretch my legs, but it was bright out (yay Spring!), the weather was nice, and I could literally feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders; so, I decided to continue walking.
I then realized that it had been so long since I had just taken a walk without a purpose, so long since I had enjoyed a solitary moment with myself.
You see, during my solo trip through Europe I walked a lot by myself. When people ask me about my trip, I talk about the sites, the museums and the wonderful people, but I never talk about my walks. This is because my walks were the most intimate moments I shared with myself during my trip, moments I shared with no one else.
I remember walking the streets of Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Seville, Cadiz, Granada, Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, Prague and Edinburgh — and in your mind you imagine me walking the streets taking in all the amazing sights, but when I remember these walks I remember how I felt: I felt emotions that I have a hard time even putting down in words.
I remember taking the transit in Dublin to the Irish Sea and walking through a park, thinking “Wow, I can’t believe I’m actually here, in Ireland!”, and I laid down in the grass and just stared up at the blue sky, smiling, and I felt goosebumps because I was so happy that I had made it.
I remember finally relaxing in Paris after I stumbled upon an outdoor market and thought about how my Mom & Paul would have loved to be there with me, and instead of making me miss them more, it made me feel less alone because I was doing something that reminded me of being with them.
I remember a morning in Seville when all I wanted was a Starbucks Chai Latte. I thought I knew how to get there, but ended up getting lost (for the millionth time), and instead of getting upset, I decided to just enjoy the walk. I ended up walking the city for a couple of hours and came back to the hostel feeling so elated.
These walks were a huge part of my experience while traveling solo, and for a moment, I forgot just how important they were.