All the best novels begin with a journey. My family knows all about journeys. We seem to attract people that are going on journeys, returning from journeys, or just thinking about taking one in the distant future. This has certainly been a year of journeys for me, and looking back I find myself in a very different place from where I was 12 months ago.
Last winter break I took a two week road-trip from Chicago to Orlando with two of my best friends. Watching the country whiz by my window I gained an appreciation for and a surprising closeness with Elvis, coca-cola, country music, bowling, headlights, and the car dealers of Florida. It seems strange to have lived somewhere for 20 years and seen such a relatively small portion of what it has to offer.
This winter break I will begin a somewhat longer journey to Barcelona. On December 31st (an appropriate beginning for anything really) and I will leave the States to spend four and a half months in Spain and two weeks in Israel. God willing (especially considering how easily I get lost) I'll return on May 20th with pictures, stories, and an obscene amount of crap. Knowing how easy it is to overlook what is so close, I want to see as much of Europe as my little savings account and a europass will allow.
Because I love you all but am not particularly good at keeping in touch (also because I have no idea how much internet access I will have) I'm creating this travel blog. The plan is to leave periodic updates of my travels, though I made need a nudging every now and then to keep from forgetting to write. Being as I won't be able to say Kaddish for most of my time in Spain (a traditional Jewish prayer said during the time of mourning) I will be trying to study a little mishnah while I'm gone. Trying is the key word here, and I can't honestly pride myself in past consistency. In any case, when I do study and make some grand conclusion I'll try to post that as well.
The next two weeks will be full of unpacking, packing, visiting my grandmother out in Washington State, unpacking, repacking, and saying goodbye. Given this, I probably won't post again until I'm in good old Barcelona.
Besos y abrazos,
Reina (The Spanish name I got in high school, it means queen, fitting, right?)