Goodbyes and Hellos to Familiar Vagabonds

Ah where do I begin? I’ve never been good at saying goodbyes. As someone who’s moved around and traveled their whole life, I’ve become so accustomed to saying goodbye to people I love the most and people I have just met. I’ve also become accustomed to the idea that I will see those people again. My best friend in the entire world, Emilie, and I said “see you later” to each other four years ago and we have met in three different countries since then. So with that in mind, I’m not too concerned about saying goodbye to the absolutely lovely people I have met on this reporting trip.

That being said, now that the time has come to a close and I’m beginning to decompress, (despite the dreadful paper I have yet to write #vomcity) I am starting to realize that a little part of my heart is left behind in that hellishly hot apartment in Madrid. The “Trapz House” and the “Trapz Queenz” became a small family. I’ve really loved looking over other people’s articles and blog posts and Carlene’s beautiful message to all of us. Everyone else is far better than I at verbalizing the trip’s end.

The beginning of the second portion of my journey was somewhat of a microcosm of my time on the reporting trip. I met my dear friend, Emilie and we ventured on a 1AM bus ride from Madrid to Valencia. The plan was to sleep on the bus so that when we arrived in Valencia at 5AM, we would not be completely destroyed. Unfortunately, the bus was filled with Spanish high schoolers that spent the majority of the ride screaming to each other and I wasn’t able to sleep a wink. When we arrived to Valencia, we waited for a few hours with our luggage for the sun to rise and for the stores to open. It was necessary to fuel myself with a cafe con leche as soon as possible. We left the bus station only to get disgustingly lost and give up and take a cab to our apartment. Our host wasn’t able to meet us for a few more hours so we parked on the bench and I slept for a bit. After a short snooze, I found a cafe that had opened, and from my memory, mustered up enough language capability (no language of mine was functioning at this point) to order an egg sandwich. That sandwich was our shining beacon of hope that things would progress in the right direction. Naturally, our host was late because we are in Spain and it is a governmental law to be late to everything. But, we had a home.

Although Emilie and I were dangerously crabby and Em suffered a sunburn of a lifetime after tragically falling asleep on the beach…we survived. And we came out the other end stronger, smarter and closer to each other- much like the infamous reporting trip. While enduring the many struggles of the trip itself, there were layers of ailments and complaints to follow. But now, standing at the precipice looking back, I’m so happy it happened.

Missing you all already.

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