Getting outside the comfort zone is basically what defines traveling, especially for a prolonged amount of time. Nobody speaks your language, any custom that you have certainly does not meet the expectations of where you are, Americans, especially men, are treated poorly, and simply finding a place is nothing less than a chore. At every corner there is an obstacle, and it seems that everything you own must be treated like gold--or else it will be gone. Souveniers, no way, not if it's on my back. Wow, and then there is money. Money is like a hundred dollar bill blowing down the street, if you don't grab it tight, then it is gone before you even knew you had it. You just cant let petty things get you down. So what the apartment in Lisbon was fifty square feet and we had a couch for a bed? It unzipped. Was it really that bad that one of us spent the night halfway in the bathroom and halfway in the kitchen, while the other spent the night on a foot and a half wide "cushion." No, it shouldn't anyway. I could be studying, or god forbid--working.. This time is priceless. Only a month in and not trading it for the world, it is worth every penny. And if things are really that bad, then ya know what? This is only four days, the next place has got to be better, right? Or like I just said...work. Chances are, the next place you go will be better, just take Lagos for example. Amazing--beautiful in every way. (Another blog for Lagos soon enough...just as soon as we are gone)...one week under our belts and one more to go. Things could be worse. I mean, right now I am listening to Pink Floyd in a bar called "Shaker," downtown Lagos, sipping on a beer. This, if any, is a great moment in my short existence. Of course I am thinking of those back home living the daily grind, but I will be there soon enough, and no doubt thinking of the precious time that I spent here. Surfing tomorrow, sure, of course. What else do you do in a superb climate in Southern Portugal. Things are good.
I'm savoring every moment that I am here of course, but I am hoping that those who I know will experience the same thing. Sure there are dilemmas and problems, and of course the hometown issues of ever taking a vacation like this, but believe me, it is worth it. I mean, the bartender is whistling like a little kid at the delight of the moment. Do it. Enjoying and experiencing the other world is a necessity, it simply shows you what else is out there--and there is a lot. The people are different, the places are different, but it enchants. The world back home is simply the world back home. There are far too many people to forget that, it is unbelievable just how many people are out there. Although I must say, people are all the same, everywhere you go, there are those you can identify with, and there are those that...well, you wouldn't relate to at home or not. The landscape and culture changes, but people are people. Believe me, culture and landscape are worth seeing, regardless. Our plan is, well, not really a plan at this point. We are going to leave Lagos soon, in hopes of a reality as beautiful as this, maybe in Italy, but we will soon see. We are only hopeful that what else is out there is as beautiful as this place. There undoubtedly will be troubled times throughout, but rest assured, it will be fine, and definitely worth it. I will let you know.