I believe that my first entry in this summer’s journal said something to the effect of ‘travel is not for everyone.’ Funny how that is how my journal began—and now that I am preparing to end my journey, that is also how it will end. When I arrived in Madrid after 12 long hours of travel, I discovered that the airline (Alitalia) lost my luggage. Honestly, short of having my passport stolen or becoming seriously ill, this means I’ve experienced all of the typical travel mishaps. Delayed flights? Check. Stolen goods? Check. Travel ailments? Check. Throw in a volunteer opportunity that fell through and some anti-American attitudes, and I can fill this page with checks. I tell myself that it’s the length of time that I’ve traveled that has provided such opportunity for mishap, but my fainter, travel-worn heart wonders if my planets aren’t seriously misaligned. Still, knowing me, this will not deter me from future travels. All of the things that have happened on this trip are not only typical (so should be expected to some degree), but also small in comparison to the experiences I’ve had. So, despite the fact that I have nothing but the clothes on my back and a few necessities in my backpack, I am trying to keep this all in perspective.
I am in Madrid for a few days before I head home. I am not going to lie: the first thing I did when I arrived was to make a bee-line for Starbucks (lucky me, my hotel was only a few blocks from one…I swear I didn’t plan that!). After a 12-hour flight and the kerfuffle over my lost luggage, that grande, non-fat latte tasted like liquid heaven.