That’s all he wrote.

It’s over.

I sit here in the Alicante-Elche airport waiting for my turn to check in my undoubtedly overweight bag praying for the miracle of a no-questions-asked smooth glide through my airport related affairs; a pipe-dream if I’ve ever heard one, but I hold on to my pathetic hopes none-the-less.

It’s been a long time since my last post and that’s for good reason. It’s been a wild ride with very little time for me to spare and with no desire for me to not live in the moment. And reflecting on all that I’ve seen and experienced I can’t say I have many regrets with that choice.

As I’m sure most of you are aware I’ve been a pretty busy traveler.

I’ve seen dozens churches, including what will, with any luck, be the world’s tallest, under construction for 200 some odd years.

I’ve made friends with Judge from Napoli, Italy, who I could only communicate with in broken Spanish in an underground pizzeria in the hills of Ravell0; she then called her son who told me in perfect English that any time I find myself back in Italy I’m welcome to stay with them.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Spanish healthcare system first hand. Although I wish it were under better circumstances, it was still an “interesting” experience, to say the least. However I can now confidently say I’ve survived (a type of) Spanish influenza.

Time has gained a vastly different meaning to me; and the rushes and stressors with which we subjugate ourselves are more often than not a  waste of our precious little sanity. The Spanish have one thing very right, take it slow. Save some money. Skip the cab. Enjoy the walk.

I have found out the hard way why Europeans buy expensive colognes; personal space is a figment of our American imaginations. “Personal Bubbles” don’t exist and neither does your comfort zone. Wearing copious amounts of cologne is not a ploy to attract a mate, it is a crime of necessity.

I have studied harder for the tests here than I ever have in my life and still have never been so absolutely helpless regardless; and I’m not alone in that. Seriously, 6 tests and a presentation in the span of 3 days is just as miserable as it sounds. Probably worse…. No, DEFINITELY worse than it sounds. But they’re over, and there’s no point crying over spilt leche.

I’ve experienced life and advertising outside of the US. This may not sound that crazy but I assure you, it takes way more than 4 months to get used to seeing entire ready to eat animals just hangin out on your average corner store. If you want an example just search for “Iberíco Jamon” with Google and look through the images. Everyone pretty much has a full leg at all times plus the apparatus for securing it.

I’ve gained an appreciation for tap water that you can drink without worrying you might die. Until you make a semi daily trip for bottled water or buy a water filter you have to replace every 2 weeks, you really don’t know how good you have it.

You don’t have to speak the same language to enjoy good food. My landlord could barely understand me and I him, but damn could he cook; and did so every time I paid rent. Positive feedback works people.

There are more things that I want to say than I know would be able to fit here so I’ll just sum it up: I’ve made friends I’ll never forget, and memories that will never fade.

I anxiously await what has been promised to me as “reverse culture shock” as I try to acclimate back to life in the U.S., but right now all I can think about is my dog, my family, and my girlfriend. Christmas should be spent with those people so I’m just ready to be home. What happens after that is of little interest to me at the moment.

As always, God bless, and prayers for a safe flight would be appreciated,

Alex

 

 

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