Interconnectedness, Papas Fritas, and Chaos: The Barcelona Chronicles

The leaves change as the sky greys.

The wind blows as the seasons change.

Like the season, I too am changing.

Forever & Always.

It’s been an interesting few months for me to say the least. Getting back in the flow of school, balancing work and my creative life, and as always, writing and seeking a deeper meaning to this crazy experience we call life has kept me busy.

The cycles of life have washed away a copious amount of old, dead things that had been straddling my heart. I feel as if everything that I have gone through in the past two years has been completely eradicated from my DNA. What remains now is the vast joy I have for life, peace, and the beautiful memories life has blessed me with. I am grateful for this new season.

I am in a season of trust.

A season of flow,

Discovery,

Of truth.

Most of all, truth.

This became apparent to me a few weeks ago after a trip to Barcelona, which took me on quite the adventure.

Travelling never occurs the same way twice for me. Every experience blesses me with new perspectives and a deeper understanding of my existence. This trip was no different.

I travelled to meet a friend whom of which I’ve known since middle school. It’s so funny how the universe works! We met through our love for dance in middle during auditions for the dance team. Years later, here we are both in Europe studying abroad and experiencing life in a new way. I believe that all things and experiences are connected, NOTHING HAPPENS BY CHANCE! No matter how far we venture off, the souls we are meant to unite with will come around again and again and again. That’s life. Being around so many genuine & familiar souls such as hers reminded me that I am not in this alone and the importance of connection, friendship, and trust.

 

vicky3vicky4(Queen Victoria)

Barcelona was a dream and a short-lived nightmare (we’ll get there later)… but mostly, a dream.

It could’ve been the fact that my head was in the clouds most of my trip, I’m pretty sure of it.

Or maybe it was the beautiful aroma of rich history.

Maybe it was those amazing papas fritas that I was sure to purchase each day of my visit,

Or, it could’ve been the beautiful sight of La Sagrada Familia.

unnamedIMG_2105

During each and every moment of my trip I was fully present, flowing and experiencing as deeply as I could. I had my friend by my side, my papas fritas in my hand, my mary jane dissolved into smoke and full in my lungs. So basically, you couldn’t tell me shit.

The day to day activities were very simple. In fact, I think this was the most simplistic and free flowing trip I’ve ever had. I usually plan things to a T, I mean every waking moment. Though during this trip I felt encouraged to move about the city organically,

Flowing,

Flowing,

Flowing!

Victoria and I are both Vegan, so we hit up all the amazing spots leaving my belly and taste buds more than satisfied. Brunch & Cake and Flax & Kale completely stole my heart!

IMG_7828IMG_8942(1st picture Brunch & Cake, 2nd Flax & Kale..also Ashwin and I!)
We did much walking through the city and all around I noticed Catalonian flags hanging out windows. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia where last year, an unofficial vote for independence from Spain took place. The national Spanish government is not supportive of this movement which resulted in tensions between the national police and protestors who indeed, want independence. Seeing history right in front of your face is a beautiful thing, and I love what these people are fighting for. It really made me think about the concept of countries and borders. I wish we lived in a world with no countries, no borders. I think the world would be much more peaceful that way. Anyways, I hope everything works out for the people in Catalonia.

IMG_9474

Along with travelling through borders, I was blessed to travel into the hearts and minds of some new individuals, Victoria’s roommates and friends. Each with their own quirks, stories, and backgrounds that deeply enriched my heart. All of us, Americans studying abroad. All so different, yet on a similar journey.

Ashwin, Kristal, Gabbie, Kelsey, and more. Characters filled with so much fun, passion, and an unspeakable joy for life and travel, just like me. I was so honored to converse with these individuals and of course, read their birth charts.

A night of laughter, boxed wine, and deep conversation re-fueled my mind & excitement within. I realized then that I was in a new season. A season of connection and discovery. I am on a quest for the deepest possible truths and in every interaction with each brilliant soul whose path crosses mines, I fall a little deeper into the answers I am looking for.

I thought about this intensely the next day on the beach, which was absolutely mesmerizing. Looking out to the endless horizon, clear water, and infinite amount of sand sparked this truth within. I think this travelling thing is meant to breakdown our complex structures of individuality that have been jammed into our brain since birth and welcome in a new wave of thought, a new way of being– through interconnectedness.

I am Tyler, but I am also Victoria.

I am Ashwin and I am Gabbie.

I am Kristal, I am Kelsey.

I am the water, the sky, the sand, and the horizon.

I am the papas fritas.

I am the citizen protesting in the streets for independence.

I am the stranger in the airport.

ACS_0041

We are all connected to one another in some way, shape, or form no matter who we are, where we are, or what we do. Every person met is simply a mirror and every situation encountered is with the intention to shape us, initiate growth, and bring in a deeper purpose into our lives.

Before the chaos, I visited the top of the city my last night in Barcelona. As I looked out to the city, I felt so humbled by this new truth that I was still contemplating. Realizing that you are everything and everyone creates such an abysmal wave of love and compassion within one’s being. This truth I discovered has stuck with me since and it is something I will honor for the rest of my life. I know that no matter what, because of this truth, I will always remember to operate from a place of love and understanding.

ACS_0055ACS_0056(Me on top of the worldddd!)

Now, onto the chaos that struck my last few hours in the city.

Of course, it’s my last night in the city so I want to go out knowing good & well I had to be at the airport by 4am. Sometimes youth makes us do crazy things because we feel invincible and bionic. Who needs sleep anyways?

So picture this, back to the beach we went. It has to be like 11 or 12am. The strip was full of clubs and people ready to have a good time, including us, and as we approach the strip I remember Kelsey saying something that foreshadowed what was to come later that night. “Every time someone comes here, something gets stolen.” Forgetting what she said, we went down to the water one last time and I freed myself which felt so good. To say the least, it was a liberating experience and well, I’d do it again.

IMG_5716IMG_6224IMG_5714(Pretty self explanitory)

The club we initially were supposed to go to wouldn’t let me in because of my ripped jeans (fuck you guys), and honestly, maybe that was the universe telling us to go home. Well, if it was we didn’t listen and just went to the club next door which initially was a fun time! Time was floating by and we were getting down. Gabbie and I decided to go get some fresh air leaving Victoria and Kelsey to do their thang with the cute guys they were dancing with. We leave for FIVE MINUTES and come back to them two nowhere in sight…like literally nowhere. They had evaporated from the premises. We text them both, no reply. Then shit hits the fan.

IMG_5713(Before shit hit the fan)

By now its like 2am, so I’m on a tight schedule here. The anxiety definitely was kicking in. Staying calm in tough situations isn’t hard for me, however, staying calm in tough situations with thousands of strobe lights, asses shaking literally EVERYWHERE, grimey guys trying to cop their feels, alcohol in my system, and an upcoming flight in a few hours…now that shit is hard. To add to that chaotic mix as you can imagine, as we walked around over and over searching for them from outside to back inside, upstairs, downstairs, and back outside, my phone gets pickpocketed!! So add that element into the mix and you have, A MESS. At this point its 2:30 and I knew that I was going to have to figure everything out and do it quickly. Somehow, I mustered up the strength to take a deep breath and find my center. I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t getting my phone back and that what mattered was finding the girls.

About 10 minutes later we got into contact with Kelsey and found Victoria outside talking to someone. I swear I could’ve killed her!!!! A not so sober Victoria greets us with a smile and a “Hey guys!! Where have y’all been?” I replied “Bitch, where have YOU been?”. She realized that something wasn’t right and we explained everything.

We immediately left, went to get my things, and headed for the airport, only to find out when we arrived that my flight was being delayed by not one hour, not two, but FIVE HOURS. Mind you, the commute was like an hour, I was completely sleep deprived, phone-less, and still a little tipsy. I lost it y’all. I’m talking Kim Kardashian waterworks. Luckily, my lashes stayed intact.

Situations like the one I experienced that night make you realize that there are just some things that cannot be controlled. Sometimes you have to ride the waves of life and handle things as best as you can with what’s been dished out. My melodramatic comedy of a weekend didn’t land me an Oscar, though I can truly say it was the experience of a lifetime.

This season of my life has been all about flowing, trusting, and letting go of control. That experience definitely strengthened me in all of those areas. I wouldn’t trade that trip for anything (okay maybe for some more of those papas fritas) and I am so grateful for everything that occurred.

Phones are replaceable, memories are not.

As the truth continues to welcome me through its golden doors and my faith in this universe continues to grow, I remember that I am everyone, everything, and that every experience has layers far beyond the surface. So thank you Barcelona for ushering in a new and beautiful season in my life. I hope to see you again soon.

With love,

Tai.

Biblography:

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). What is happening in Catalonia? – CBBC Newsround. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/41483002 [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

 

 

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