2017: Where I’ve Been.

Almost a year ago, I took up my annual tradition of typing out what I wanted to do in the months ahead.

I had a freezer full of food. I had plans to go places. I was cautiously hopeful, but confident that I was going to be Doing The Things and writing about them as I went along.

And then … I ghosted.

Yeah. I’m afraid it’s become a trend for me the past couple of years.

So, what did I do with all that time away from this blog?

Well, to start on a positive note, I did go places.

The last time I posted, I was making plans to head to Montreal for my 40th birthday – and I did, with six of my friends. It was a low-key sightseeing-and-eating affair. No complaints here – at least, not from me.

A few weeks later, I took off to Cambodia for two weeks, seeing new towns and temples, side-stepping scooters, riding down long, winding rivers, taking in as much of Angkor Wat in a day and a half as was humanly possible, eating great food, exploring a cave or two, losing my handbag and getting it back — all while travelling in the company of six other human beings.

That probably would have satisfied my travel bug for the year.

But I also squeezed in a short hop to Las Vegas in May for a few days of drinking, slot-playing, canyon-hiking and club-hopping, and I finally visited Prince Edward County with one of my good friends — small towns, wineries and scenery packed into a few days.

What else?

Work’s been … okay. It’s been okay. I set out to change things, and over the course of the year, things have gone through their own set of changes. It’s affected what I do a little, but I’m fumbling along and trying to adjust like everyone else.

My main creative outlet turned out to be this podcast that I’ve done with my friends for the past couple of years. It’s still a work in progress, and we’ve come a considerable way from where we first started. But it’s turned out to be my only creative outlet. My motivation to write – which I’d hoped would catch fire, or at least start smoldering – was pushed to the back burner.

Okay, who am I kidding? I shoved it at the back of the freezer, next to that 8-month-old piece of apple pie I forgot to eat.

Speaking of freezers …

I did try to batch-cook a number of my meals ahead of time. But just as often – if not more – I was throwing my wallet at fast-food joints. Especially this month. I did exercise – and still try to – but it’s been in fits and starts. Sometimes, I’d hit a groove with exercise, but then strain something … which meant scaling back on the workouts … which then gave way to my disinterest regular in exercise.

And my sugar monster is enormous and just as present as ever.

One step forward, four steps back.

Well. I did say I was going to fail. Hell, I’m failing now.

But I’m not going to beat myself up over what I did and didn’t do.

Today, I’m going to get myself to work and try to take things one moment at a time, and do the best I can.

I’m sure it’ll be just fine. And if it’s not, I’ll just remind myself that I never have to repeat it.

After all, tomorrow’s a new day – and a new year.


Now Travelling Really Begins

Just when I was getting used to things …

It´s my last night in Barcelona. Man, when I got here almost six nights ago, I didin´t know how I was going to cope, and I wasn´t sure how comfy I´d be with how different everything is …

Like, how an hour feels much longer in Spain than in Canada. As the Madonna song says, “Time goes by so slowly.” (Well, I guess not, since I´m leaving here.)

… Or how much noisier things have been around here … and how I´m finally sleeping through a lot of it. (And I´m a light sleeper.)

… Or how chaotic it is to cross the street. You think pedestrians and drivers don´t pay attention to traffic lights in Toronto? Try narrow streets here. It´s guesswork – or a game of chicken.

… Or how rich the food is here. It´s so good … but I don´t think I´ve seen anything vegetable-like in anything I´ve eaten in almost a week. The closest I got was maybe a couple bite-fuls of lettuce from tapas yesterday afternoon, and the spinach in my rolled chicken sandwich today. (Somehow, I suspect I will be gaining weight on this trip instead of losing it 🙂 .)

… Or seeing old Spanish couples hold hands as they cross the crosswalks or walk down the street…. Or listening to people to speak to other people in Catalan. Or Spanish. Or Italian. Or German. Or any other language we can think of.

… Or just weird it can be, in a city with just under 2 million people – and, it seems, millions more tourists – that you can sometimes run into the same people. It happened two days ago at the Picasso gallery, when I ran into the Canadian girl I met at the airport in Paris on the way here. I ended up walking down near the water with her that afternoon, eating dinner, and then going clubbing with a handful of her hostel-mates. (There was a drinking game and some piggyback rides involved, but that´s another post.)

And it happened again outside La Sagrada Familia, when I ran into a couple of guys from San Francisco, who were on the same Picasso walk as me the day before. We decided to hang out and tackle Parc Guell together. And it made such a phenomenal landmark that much enjoyable.

I don´t think I saw as much as I thought I was going to. But that´s okay. What I did see was good.

A few weeks back I read that, somewhere, there´s a fountain in Barcelona, and if you drink from it, that means you´ll return. But I didn´t get near it to know that I want to come back … hopefully with more Spanish, at least one other person around, and way more gusto to see other sights and maybe meet more people.

But I should go for now. There’s this tapas bar somewhere on Passeig de Gracia that I want to attempt to find and eat at before I have to head back to my room to pack for tomorrow.