Last week, I dreamt I was getting an airplane tattooed on my arm. If you’re picturing a delicate little wrist tattoo, please reimagine. Think entire forearm—wrist to inner elbow.
Last night, I dreamt I was trying to catch a plane home but missed my flight, then booked another one and missed that as well.
I guess it’s safe to say I’ve been thinking a lot about travel lately, both consciously and subconsciously. My restlessness and love for exploring began in a cave when I was four years old. My brother and his companion had climbed up into the hollowed out space in the rock formation, and I ignored everybody’s pleads for me to stay behind. I can’t recall the details of how we got there or exactly what it looked like, but I remember our cave adventure on the first day of my family’s Tenerife trip being one of my first and most exciting memories.
The rocky terrain and red dirt made me think we had been transported to Mars. Everything about the island was new and strange and exciting. The houses were flat-roofed and painted the most whimsical colors— vivid shades of red and orange and yellow and blue. We stayed with our hosts in a canary yellow house, a fitting shade for the Canary Islands. What impressed me most about the house was not its appearance or its location on the edge of the highest cliff I had ever seen, but rather, the fact that the clothes line was on the roof. The freaking roof. In New York, we typically always dry our clothes in the dryer, except for when it’s sunny and warm enough to use the line in the backyard. In Tenerife, there was no dryer. This, and the fact that it was normal (and necessary) to walk on the roof were two things I could not wrap my head around at the time.
I also remember thinking it strange that the streets were lined on both sides with cars, yet we walked everywhere. I had never been to a town where you could walk to the grocery store or to church or to the park. At home, the only place we can walk to is our neighbors’ houses. The one day I do remember being in the car in Spain was during a quest to satisfy my unrelenting demand for my favorite lunch item, a bologna sandwich. We drove all around the island looking for the closest thing to bologna we could find. Giving up, we pulled in front of McDonalds, the only familiar sight on the Canary Islands. From the back seat, I exclaimed, “We’re home!!” My parents still get a kick out of my genuine belief that we had arrived back in New York. Luckily, my ability to reason has drastically improved.
Our trip to Spain was the first turning point in my life, as it sparked my love of travel and learning about cultures that differ from my own. I long to keep having new experiences in the old world and across the globe.