I Miss Traveling (Part 2 of what I missed during Covid-19)

My last posts were about our trip to Bilbao & Santander, which were awesome. Traveling to Spain could, in itself, be considered traveling, true. In actuality we moved, just instead of moving from St. Louis to Long Beach (our last move), this time we moved from Long Beach to Gijón. Moving constitutes home, and where one calls said place. After returning from our most recent journey, as we pulled into the Gijón bus station, I felt like, gosh it’s good to be home. That is the moment I realized Gijón is now our home.

On our bus journey to Bilbao, I wrote the following in my journal, just as the bus left the station at that early morning hour.I watched a video last night before bed, and in it a person was talking about how excited we were when we were kids, and we knew a field trip was the next day. But we didn’t know what to expect, or what would happen on the field trip, we were just excited about the possibilities. Waking up so early, even before our parents, our excitement overwhelmed our desire for more sleep. Who needs sleep when the unexpected lies ahead?

Unexpected ahead (no filter)

Routines are good, and provide stability in uncertain times (I even wrote a blog post about routines), but life is chaos. Routines help to control that chaos, but still chaos reigns. The universe is chaotic, even if it looks still from our perspective. Everything returns to entropy, no? To get there, chaos is cause and the ignition. Dealing with the sudden, unexpected deaths of loved ones put that in the clearest terms for me.

Remember being a kid, on Christmas Eve, not knowing what presents would be under the tree, ready to surprise us? I hated when people would ask what I want for those holidays (realizing how privileged it sounds) because it ruined the surprise. Life can and should surprise us, but often fails to do so, usually because of our need to control the chaos.

Right now, I do not know how our trip will go; while I planned some parts, booking the places to stay, picking museums to go to, I know there will be new foods to try, new experiences to enjoy, places I’ve never been and see people I’ve never seen before (or probably will ever again). I want to happen upon experiences unexpected.

I was lucky enough to mentor a youth in foster care for my last few years in Southern California. We met when he was ten, and that is such a great age to be. We had a lot of fun together, as I would pick him up on Saturdays mid-morning, and I would have picked some place to go that I thought would be fun for him, and we would have adventures. He did not know what was coming and where we were going, he was just content to go along for the ride, and enjoy the experience.

As we got to know each other, I would ask him questions, like “are you excited for next week in school?” or “what are you going to do this summer?” and the like, and he would, almost always, shrug his shoulders, and say “eh” or “I guess,” or “I don’t know”, but always said with the tiniest of smiles. He was not depressed or unhappy in those moments, he just did not care what was to come, as it was not happening right then, and had no desire or will to control his future self. He was excited not knowing what would come, and he had a wisdom that I grew to appreciate in the not-knowing.

Enter the night

That is probably why I got a good night’s sleep and woke up before my alarm, because I realize I am still excited (and a little scared, chaos and all) by the unexpected.

Published by Phil Barrington

Currently living in Spain, Accountant by Day, Writer by Night. Lover of baseball, travel ,and spreadsheets. Check out my blog: https://waypastcool.org/

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