It was a Monday in Barcelona and a blue sky you could feel. My friend and I were utilizing our weeklong spring break to escape London’s grey monotony, and now we were approaching the end of our 3-day stay in Spain’s dazzling Catalonian city on the sea. Intent on finding a final meal before jetting off to our next adventure in Nice – or “gallivanting across Europe,” as my parents termed it – we took the light rail from our hostel to Barceloneta Beach, serenely watching the city pass us by as we neared the coast. We found Shôko, an Asian restaurant off a narrow boardwalk aside the sand, to be a suitable stop.
It was early enough in both the day and the travel season that we had the place nearly to ourselves. Seated on the patio, we were treated to views of palm trees fluttering gently in the breeze’s whispers and the Mediterranean sparkling brightly in the sun’s uninterrupted rays. In the distance, Barcelona’s coastal resort high-rises stood unmoving against the topaz sky.
We began our lunch sojourn by ordering the sweet drink Spain is so acclaimed for – Sangria. What was brought to us was a deep red wine concoction loaded with fresh berries, the presentation just as succulent as the taste. We slowly sipped, savoring this moment – this glorious, write-home-to-tell-about-it moment – that we had found ourselves in.
Over a meal of chicken and noodles and Sangria, we spent the morning on that patio engaged in those sorts of conversations reserved for moments of absolute contentment – those times when the future seems open to anything and everything, when the unknown of what’s to come is invigorating rather than terrifying.
You see, I was set to graduate from college in less than a year, and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. My post-grad goals maintained a restless air, and I was consistently impatient to bring them into focus. My time abroad had both enlightened and confused me – I loved traveling, meeting new people, living new stories, but how could I actually make this lifestyle I yearned for feasible? Yet in this postcard moment, my dreams seemed just as tangible as the breezy beach scene set before me.
We all have that moment we cling to when we find ourselves sinking in the stale quagmire of present day, that certain memory that serves as a refuge from our current worries.
For me - even now, two years later - it’s a Monday in Barcelona and a blue sky you could feel.