To wrap up this month, it makes sense that I address the most glaringly obvious form of escapism that I have not acknowledged: traveling. My entire semester is travel; I’m living in a foreign country speaking a language that is not my first, plus taking trips to even more aggressively unfamiliar countries on the weekends. It’s insane and transformative and the absolute definition of a Once In A Lifetime Experience.
I refuse to be one of those “don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” people. I am drinking mojitos in tiny bars and paying for them entirely in coins. I am sometimes dancing on stages in ridiculously fluorescent clubs, and eating Nutella by the spoonful next to the canals of Venice. I like how being here is forcing me to re-examine myself and I am finding new poems, new ironies, new things to snatch from the cruel altar of change.
I read a portion from the novel "La Noche de los Tiempos" the other day that described a character Judith, whose features are so sharp it’s as if they’d been drawn by an architect:
“...the luminous timbre of her voice in Spanish. Enthusiasm made her beautiful. She’d been in Madrid for a month and felt all the ardor of an unexpected love affair with the city.”
I am trying to be present, and absorb the absolute absurdity of my privileged life rn. Maybe for most people vacations and island getaways and cultural excursions are a way to escape from the mundaneness of life, but I am constantly being reminded of how spectacular and variable and coincidental this life can be.