When it comes to travel, I happen to be more of a slow traveler while Parichay loves hop-skipping locations. So if I take 3 days to get used to a new city, Parichay is already through it and set to explore some place new. When we planned our Europe trip in 2016, we were the happiest to include Spain on our list. Initially it was more like ‘let’s see what the fuss is all about’, but when we started listing the things we wanted to do/see in Spain, it was already a great deal for us.
Now I know many Indian families take a complete 6N/7D vacation to locations like Spain. But as we planned, we realized that 7 days really aren’t enough. Before we could take off for our trip, the best itinerary that we could manage was 3 days in Barcelona, 2 days in Madrid and 2 days in Seville. Even with all that excitement, I kept complaining about getting only so much time in these places. Parichay on the other hand kept reminding me that we were actually going to miss out on destinations like Granada, Malaga, Costa Brava, and Cuenca. These destinations were shortlisted from a longer list, which was finally cut down to just 3 destinations!
Spain has this vibe to it, which is warm, pleasant yet peculiar. The minute we reached Barcelona, we knew we wanted to be here. (I can still visualize those small shops full of fresh vegetables, tapas bars, friendly locals and the welcoming airs of Barcelona as I type this). Our last most impactful reference of Spain was Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. And yes, most of those elements were right here.
You know that YOLO feeling that gets to your head when you’re all set for a Spain trip with friends? That.
Spain was our eighth country on the trip, the warmest, most vibrant, I am not sure we would’ve had this kind of an enthusiasm even after 40 days of constant traveling. We couldn’t be happier!
Barcelona totally stood out for me. After all the gothic-baroque architecture and the blacks and greys, you can only enjoy the excitement and joy of watching Antoni Gaudi’s defining architecture. Most of Barcelona’s character comes from Gaudi’s works, which can only be described, as passionate, colorful and creative genius. Everything else came to us as complimentary- be it the tiny, crowded bars, the football fans, the Saturday night enthusiasts or the talented artists spread across the street. Barcelona was a dream.
Madrid came across as the most beautiful surprise. A surprise that felt like home, Madrid was heartwarming affair! Madrid was about it’s people, about the shopkeepers, about the bar owners, about the dancers who occupied the Puerto de Sol by the night, and the tourists that hounded around this beautiful, warm and pacey city. Words aren’t enough, and I’ll probably never be able to put it in words what made me fall in love with Madrid, but it was real. It still is!
Leaving Madrid was a sad feeling, but Seville was calling and promised to be different. To start with, Seville had all the elements that made it an exciting stay. Especially, having sangria all night on the open roof terrace of The Nomad Hostel. Seville had a very relaxed environment compared to the other to Spanish cities. Shops would shut by 9:30, and the night would begin chatting away with friends. When we stepped out to explore the town the next day, it was what I’d call a surreal experience walking around this tiny little town. Yes, I don’t remember taking a single public transport in Seville. We walked, and walked and discovered. And what we discovered the most were dozens of street musicians each with their unique style. And then we hated having to miss the Bull Fight and the Flamenco Performance because we had little time.
These 7 days literally flew away for us. We kept discussing what we’d missed. We wanted to stay each place a little more, but we also wanted to explore more places. We were very keen on trying some fun adventure activities in Malaga & Seville.
You know what we were living with?
THE FEAR OF MISSING OUT
The fear of missing out on local explorations, the fear of missing out on experiences, the fear of missing out on beautiful locations, the fear of missing out the must-do-things on our list, the fear of missing out on the bragging rights, the pictures, the knowledge, the good and the bad…
Of course we could’ve planned things differently. Seen some more of a single place or explored a couple of more places in the blink of an eye.
But guess what? We would’ve still missed out on something.
This wasn’t about Spain being an exciting destination alone; this was about exploring the world. There will always be so much to see and so many places to go to. The bucket lists shall be endless and most of us might now even get to each of the place or experience.
But you know what matters? What mattered on our Spain trip and what shall matter always? It was the fact that we surrendered to acceptance and execution of the plan that we have devised. There on, we were right there living it to our fullest without any regrets and remorse.
When you travel, and in life what matters more is where you are and what you have. Every other destination, experience, desire is nothing but an aspiration, a hope.
The fear of missing out is an experience that we should start missing out on. In either case, there will always be another Spain trip to miss out on some more and cherish what has been conquered, nevertheless!