"Different Places under the same sun" RaeganB's Profile
It all began 18 months ago when I woke up one day with the feeling that I was living someone else's life. Don't get me wrong, it was a good life: I owned my house, I was financially solvent, I had a good relationship with my family, great friends, hobbies but...there seemed to be this voice in my head saying "How did we get here...this was never the plan??" It was then that I realized that it had been more than 10 years since I had travelled seriously. My dreams to travel were becoming just that...dreams. So, I hemmed and I hawed...I talked my family's ear off, I asked friends, everyone I knew what I should do... Everything was so comfortable as it was then...but I just wasn't as happy as I felt I could be...so one day I woke up and began making plans. I arranged to sell my business (an adventure in itself), rented my home and bought a plane ticket with the goal to travel around Europe for one year....
Financial solvency and comfort had made me a bit soft so when I started my trip I decided to stay only in hotels and hostels (private rooms of course :) ). This decision wasn't because I had become accustomed to the creature comforts in life (though I probably had) but because, and this is hard to believe now) of a natural shyness around new people. I kept to this pattern for the first 4 months of my journey. Staying only in hotels and hostels. I met many great people in hostels along the way and shared many an adventure, but I didn't feel that I was getting the authentic travelling experience..and travelling on my own had begun to become a bit lonely, if still intellectually and emotionally fulfilling. This is when I discovered couchsurfing and a whole new world opened up for me....
Couchsurfing is the travel organization that changed my life. After 4 months of hostelling, I really wanted to have authentic experiences. Meeting people in hostels had cured me of my shyness and now I wanted to know everyone's stories. But I felt that I was only meeting fellow travellers. Couchsurfing introduced me to the locals. I started my couchsurfing experiences in Edinburgh, staying with a French Canadian named Benoit. I had an amazing time with him and he took the time to share his Scottish life with me. Since then I have always tried to couchsurf whenever I was travelling. Including learning to play the guitar while sleeping on a mattress in the middle of the livingroom. An experience I would never have had otherwise.
I couchsurfed around Europe for the next 6 months until my return ticket was coming due. What should I do I asked myself? I've sold my business, my house is rented and I don't want to go back to school or work doing what I was doing. Not to mention, I was a traveller now. There was no going back. My feet wanted to walk the earth and they weren't going to go back under a desk for any reason. But I didn't know what to do. As I was thinking about this problem, the answer came to me in an email. In April I had surfed with a CS named Gerard. Several months later, as I am analysing what direction my life should take, Gerard sends me an email, telling me that his extra room in Mataro, Barcelona, Spain is free if I want to extend my trip...and that is how I ended up where I am today...
I stayed with Gerard and his girlfriend, Angela, for a few weeks until I found job in a small village called Moia. It is about an hour north of Barcelona and has a population of 5000. I'm teaching English and loving it. Each day I am surrounded by Catalan culture and language. I'm learning to speak Catalan and soon will begin to learn Spanish. I've made incredible friends and even somehow met a really special person to share my future travels with.
I try to see new places every weekend when possible or at least meet new people who can share their experiences with me. I'm loving life in Spain and everyday I think to myself that "this is definitely my life" and I am grateful for it.
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- RaeganB and DSwede are now friends.
- Commented on one of DSwede's North Korea travel pages
- created a Jeju-do Travel Page "Buddha's Cave - Sanbangsan"
- Posted in Travel South Korea Forum "Cheapest way to get to Korea from..."
- Wrote a Review A Lucky Find in Gibraltar Hotels
- Uploaded a Photo to "Different Places under the same sun"
updated their Profile Page "Different Places under the same sun"