Trip Start Nov 24, 2009
11Trip End Dec 09, 2009
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Where I stayed
Seat 37C, UA 901
My final hours in Madrid were spent blogging and packing with a 2 hour nap thrown in just before I board a cab heading to the airport. Luck would have it Carlos was flying to London for work just 2 hours before my flight was departing, so he offered to share his cab on the company dime. That would mean leaving the house by 6am, but we were both ready go without hassle or delay. The ride to the airport was about 25 minutes, but it was upon arrival there that we hit a snag…Carlos reaches to pay the fare only to realize in horror that he did not have his wallet
It was here where things got pretty interesting. By now it was 6:30. Carlos’s flight was at 7:20. The cabbie, being a good sport (and I suspect loving the challenge) insisted he could get Carlos there and back in time. Now if you know me well you know that I love a spirited ride, and high speed is no stranger to me, but usually I am the one in the driver’s seat. This was a different experience altogether! The cabbie raced through the freeways outlying the city proper weaving in and out of different lanes avoiding the camera speed traps (which apparently are only in the left lane.) He got us back home in under 15 minutes as we were traveling anywhere between 170-190 km/hour at a time! (For those of us like me who are metrically challenged, that’s 110-120 mph.) Carlos had an uneasy look on his face most of the way, but I was surprisingly calm and enjoyed the experience despite being in the back seat. What’s more is that the driver really seemed to enjoy himself as I would guess he doesn’t often get the chance to drive like that with willing passengers.
We arrive back at the airport at 7:00 where Carlos gets dropped off first and pays the 110 Euro fare!!! (That’s $175!) We wish each other a safe flight (which likely would be far safer than the ride there) and say farewell until next time. From there the cabbie drops me off at the opposite end of the airport, shakes my hand vigorously (surely for not freaking out) and shows me to my counter. Thus my adventure in Spain came to an end.
I get through the counter and security with ease and take care of one final piece of business…my last donation from Jonas, which only came in hours before. I find the one open bar, order a Clara de Limon and a ham sandwich and enjoy what truly must be the breakfast of champions! Sure, I got some strange looks from both the bartender and passersby for ordering a beer at 7:45 in the morning, but hey…this whole trip has been about new experiences. Besides, is it still breakfast if you don’t really go to bed?
Looking back on this adventure I can say that it has been a whirlwind. My perspective of time however is somewhat skewed. On one hand it seems like it all flew by rather quickly, but on the other I feel like I’ve been gone a long time. I can’t say I necessarily miss my daily routine but I will be happy to get back to having certain consistent luxuries that one misses while on the road: a nice bed, transportation of my own, having more than two pairs of jeans, working on a Mac instead of everything else inferior ;-) . Regardless, the lessons I have proven to myself (rather than simply believing them) is that I can be perfectly content traveling solo, being social and making instant friends, sharing personal space with strangers and pushing my boundaries all while maintaining my wit and humor
It is said in life we are born and we die alone. I also believe that we experience life alone from our own internal perspective, but in these experiences we bump into other lone travelers along the way. It is in those brief moments of contact, with others or the world consciousness as a whole, that the memories of our experience are created and our perspectives expanded. This is where life is truly lived. Perhaps we don’t really exist at all until we bump into these other perspectives of reality, providing us something to compare and contrast our own experiences to, and it is the crossing of these paths that show us that our experience is yet all interconnected. Perhaps we are in fact one with the world and it’s people and it is our collective shared experiences that enable us to connect in the first place.
That then brings me to you. Thank you for sharing my experiences and being a part of them through this medium. An extra special thanks to those who kindly donated their hard earned money to further contribute to this experience…Stephanie, Eric, Kirk, Annie, Kim, Josie and Jonas!! I can only hope that I have been able to add to the richness of your own life experience and perhaps even inspire you to push your boundaries and live your path, whatever it may be, to the fullest. There is nothing truly holding you back from what you want other than your own limiting beliefs. Don’t ever stand in the way of your own happiness, fulfillment or destiny. To do so is simply absurd.
Okay, enough philosophizing…just 5 more hours ‘til my Famoso Burrito at La Pinata!!!