When I arrived home in Seattle after completing my first year at Georgetown University, I found two plain black Moleskine journals, identical to the one in which I am currently writing, on my bookshelf.
I opened one of them and read the following:
They prize hospitality so highly that they are more than happy to welcome me, a stranger, into their house for three weeks to sleep in their only bed, and eat the little and basic food they can afford. Here, you don't need to worry about makeup, checking your email, owning the hottest pair of jeans, or getting into the best university. There are always plenty of siblings around to play with, the whole family does chores together, they eat every meal together, and they smother each other with kisses whenever they feel like it.
I wrote those words two summers ago about the host family I stayed with in Morocco while on a “global service-learning” trip with a group from my high school.
I opened the other journal and read the first few lines:
Last week, I marched across the quad with my class of 120, and up to the stage wearing a billowing black gown and a wreath of orchids to be handed my high school diploma. I survived high school, but will I survive the next month? Tomorrow, I fly to Europe. This time will be different, however, from the past 18 summers of traveling to Europe because I will be traveling with no parents. It will be just me and my friend, Juliana.
Those words were written just last summer.
Excerpts from both of those travel journals were published in blogs on my dad's website. Now I write in my third plain black journal words which will go in my third travel blog.
Before I begin my summer job as an assistant guide on a couple Rick Steves' tours, I will travel in Spain and Portugal with Zoe, one of my best friends from high school. I've traveled all over Western Europe every year of my life, but have yet to step foot — or rather, roll suitcase — on the Iberian Peninsula. I can't wait to see what I've been missing. Ten days will be just enough time to spend a few days in three of Spain and Portugal's major cities: Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon.
I've known Zoe since I was 11 and went to school with her from sixth through 12th grade. At one point we decided that one day one of us would be president and the other would be vice president (we haven't gotten around to that quite yet). At a later point we decided that, despite our parents' wishes, we just had to get our bellybuttons pierced together (we did get around to that — sorry mom!). Most of my memorable adolescent adventures involved Zoe, but the one on which we are about to embark will surely outdo the rest.
About This Entry
You are reading "My Third Travel Blog: This Time It's Zoe and Jackie in Spain and Portugal", an entry posted on 28 June 2009 by Jackie Steves.