I think its safe to say that this blog is my own personal kingdom.
And so king is returning to Barcelona….finally.
This infatuation, love affair, or obsession if you will, has been building since 2003. On a trip overseas with a friend Barca was originally a city I violently hated. I arrived on a rainy day, awfully sick from a week of drinking and I wanted nothing more than to stay curled up in the fetal position in my room, sweating through my nausea until my scheduled train onto the next city.
But as the clouds and my sickness lifted I was amazed to find a city unlike any other I had been to, a city as diverse as its citzens who hail from all around the world. Most of which seem to either be looking for an escape, or moved to pursue new love.
Barcelona to me is a city of the world. It matters not what you are doing in your wandering throughout its distinctly unique boroughs but you’re always just a step away from meeting someone from some other part of the globe and each of their stories are as different as your own.
At the end of 2008 I had left Canada to escape what I found to be a most boring existence. Too much time spent commuting, too many hours for too little pay, and too muchfood court eavesdropping of people complaining about their jobs, their spouses, their friends, and their daily routine.
And inevitably I found myself becoming one of these people. The weekend warrior desperately looking forward to long weekends, statutory holidays and dragging my feet through the rest of my life. Something had to change.
Most people in Barcelona are in the midst of a some sort of love affair, either with the city, a person, or a renewed love affair with themselves. All of which will give you an endless amount of reasons to not complain.
When I last left this magnificent city I was ready to return to Canada, but from the moment I stepped off the plane in Toronto I knew it was only temporary before I returned to Barcelona.
The timing of this trip could not be better for me. After a year of running my own online business I am in need of rejuvenation. My home town, though endearing as it holds the key to valuable friends and family, is certainly not a mecca for innovation and inspiration.
And granted, in comparison to some of my favourite cities in Europe, nowhere Ontario is guaranteed to leave a most underwhelming impression.
But as I countdown the next 16 days to my mini-retirement of 76 days living in Barcelona and bouncing around Europe I can already imagine the difference.
Waking up with the bright spanish sun flashing through the window of my new terrace into the living room and inviting me into the city. Just steps away from my new apartment lies Passeig de Gracia, the famous street which leads directly into Plaza Cataluyna and onto Las Ramblas.
Not since 2006 will I again be able to spend my days on the beach, and swimming in the salt water of the Mediterranean. Watching the backbackers, travelers, and locals come together in a congregation of appreciation for a city that provides inspiration, solace, and an experience that lasts a lifetime….
And all it asks in return is that you visit again or simply pass on the message so that someone else may experience it for themselves.
I guess as far as religion goes, Barcelona is as close as I’ll get.