I’m in Spain!

My trip has finally begun. The past month has been a bit of a whirlwind. Thirty-one days ago I handed in my two weeks notice. Thirteen days ago I said goodbye to all my friends in Boston. Two days ago I didn’t know where I’d be in Madrid. Or what I’d be doing. Now I’m here. Here in Madrid.

But thinking back on the past few weeks, I can’t help but realize I spent so much time thinking of the past, rather than the very exciting future.

Leaving Boston turned out to be more difficult than I’d expected. It’s hard to say goodbye to good friends even if it’s only for a little while. Going from Boston to Texas to visit with family and old friends was nice, but it gave me too much time between not working, and arriving in Madrid, to think.

Thinking is so not cool when you’ve got a million little things to do.

Of course, those little things weren’t really that important. Send out a newsletter. Reply to some e-mails. Backup old computer files. Upload old photos.

But I had it in my mind that I had two weeks between leaving Boston and then leaving for the world. And those two weeks were going to be productive, dammit!

Oh boy were they.

I had ice cream sundaes and sno-cones. Home-cooked meals with family. Lunches and coffees with my friends from high-school. Afternoons by the swimming pool.

And you know what? I didn’t start to think about my trip until Day T-Minus 1. A full 24 hours before Flight AA36 to Madrid I decided I should actually look up a place to stay and write down some things to do. I hadn’t yet packed my bag, but I knew there wouldn’t be room for a guidebook.

All that lounging around and those little tasks on my massive to-do list kept me from thinking about the trip, but instead about the past. Not easy, really. My advice for you, if you’re planning a big trip—just get up and go!

Don’t wait around. Idle minds keep you anxious about what’s to come.

But now I’m in Spain. And I absolutely love it.

I can’t imagine a better place to be right now.

Travels of Adam - It's a blogLooking for a place to stay? I use HotelsCombined.com where you can easily compare hotel room rates and prices. Please note some posts do make me some money but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review. Read the full disclosure policy.

31 comments

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  1. Pingback: Six months abroad; revising my itinerary | Travels of Adam

  2. Adam

    Thanks for commenting Nick! I'm incredibly easily distracted, too. And a bit lazy.

  3. NickLaborde

    I can easily see my self doing the same thing and I'm easily distracted.

  4. Adam

    Haha thanks Doug!

  5. Doug

    Dude.. the more i read, the more stoked I am for you. I cant wait to live vicariously through your travels.

  6. Adam

    @Annie – Thanks so much! It’s been fun to keep people in the loop of the planning process… now I just need to figure out where to go with this thing while I’m on the road..

    @Alison – haha! Good luck trying to fight the urge while spending another winter in Boston. :)

    @Ayngelina – Yeah… budget. Still gotta figure that one out. So far it hasn’t been too expensive (or not more than I thought it would be). Luckily, food comes with just about every cerveza you order, so I’ve basically just been eating appetizers/tapas for days!

    @Poi – Cheers! Smart move to make as much as possible before leaving. Can’t wait to hear about your trip once you’re on your way…

    @Raam – Two months! I can’t wait to be that far into it. Still feel like I’m in a bit of a honeymoon period now. Can’t imagine it wearing off just yet.

    @Dina – Those last things to do pile up too much and it’s just so impossible to get it all done. Hostel booking can almost always be done at the last minute. Haven’t pre-booked one yet, but I’m sure that if you do, it makes things a little less stressful for your first day wherever you go.

    @Kiera – Thanks Kiera!!! Expect some mail at some point.

    @G – Wow, thank you so much for all that! You’re right that I spent most of my pre-trip planning on this blog, which I’m definitely glad I did. I’d never be able to keep up with it if I hadn’t. It adds a whole other side to travel that I haven’t experienced before.

    I remember connecting with you last year when you were revamping your site. Can’t wait to meet you somewhere in the world!

  7. Adam

    @Annie – Thanks so much! It’s been fun to keep people in the loop of the planning process… now I just need to figure out where to go with this thing while I’m on the road..

    @Alison – haha! Good luck trying to fight the urge while spending another winter in Boston. :)

    @Ayngelina – Yeah… budget. Still gotta figure that one out. So far it hasn’t been too expensive (or not more than I thought it would be). Luckily, food comes with just about every cerveza you order, so I’ve basically just been eating appetizers/tapas for days!

    @Poi – Cheers! Smart move to make as much as possible before leaving. Can’t wait to hear about your trip once you’re on your way…

    @Raam – Two months! I can’t wait to be that far into it. Still feel like I’m in a bit of a honeymoon period now. Can’t imagine it wearing off just yet.

    @Dina – Those last things to do pile up too much and it’s just so impossible to get it all done. Hostel booking can almost always be done at the last minute. Haven’t pre-booked one yet, but I’m sure that if you do, it makes things a little less stressful for your first day wherever you go.

    @Kiera – Thanks Kiera!!! Expect some mail at some point.

    @G – Wow, thank you so much for all that! You’re right that I spent most of my pre-trip planning on this blog, which I’m definitely glad I did. I’d never be able to keep up with it if I hadn’t. It adds a whole other side to travel that I haven’t experienced before.

    I remember connecting with you last year when you were revamping your site. Can’t wait to meet you somewhere in the world!

  8. Annie Leroux

    Hey Adam!
    So glad you are finally there and having a good time.

    My favorite thing about following you has been the fact that I started checking out your posts/twitter updates before you left. Getting to see how you spent your time before leaving for this RTW trip has been awesome because most of the other travelers are already off and around the world well before I begin following them.

    Good luck out there. Looking forward to more posts.

  9. Annie Leroux

    Hey Adam!
    So glad you are finally there and having a good time.

    My favorite thing about following you has been the fact that I started checking out your posts/twitter updates before you left. Getting to see how you spent your time before leaving for this RTW trip has been awesome because most of the other travelers are already off and around the world well before I begin following them.

    Good luck out there. Looking forward to more posts.

  10. Congratulations. Although it’s not on my RTW list, I really want to go to Spain. I am really looking forward to reading about it, particularly how to do it on a budget!

  11. Congratulations. Although it’s not on my RTW list, I really want to go to Spain. I am really looking forward to reading about it, particularly how to do it on a budget!

  12. Alison

    So proud of you! Can’t wait to keep up with you and your travels and to fall into a downward spiral of intense, irrational jealousy.

  13. Alison

    So proud of you! Can’t wait to keep up with you and your travels and to fall into a downward spiral of intense, irrational jealousy.

  14. Congrats on getting underway Adam.
    I was debating taking a couple of weeks off work before we set off but I decided we could probably do with the money so I finish on the Friday and we go on the Wednesday.
    Look forward to reading about your trip!

  15. Congrats on getting underway Adam.
    I was debating taking a couple of weeks off work before we set off but I decided we could probably do with the money so I finish on the Friday and we go on the Wednesday.
    Look forward to reading about your trip!

  16. Congrats from a fellow Bostonian on taking the plunge, Adam! I left Boston about two months ago and wow, you described my last few weeks leading up to the departure almost to a T!

    All those little things to be done before leaving really add up and soak up your time; there are a whole list of things I never manged to get to!

    It will be interesting to see how you adjust to the new lifestyle. :) It’s been two months for me here in India (living out of ONE backpack) and it still doesn’t quite feel real! But I know it’s exactly what I want to be doing with my life!

    All the best and safe adventures!

  17. Brings up my memory about our last hours in our home town in Ontario. We were awake for the last 36 hours before we left to close down our apartment. We knew it was a big job – we started a week or more before, but we didn’t think it will be that bad. The room has to be ready for inspection in the morning so we wont get fined, which means we must fill in the holes in the wall and scrub clean some places. All items must go, all furniture must be disassembled and removed somewhere, all paperwork must get the final check. The suburban car we borrowed for doing this job was broken down and won’t turned on (even until we left). In the morning, I was not even done packing my backpack, still contemplating between bringing this or that. Whoah, it was a panic 36 hours! We slept like baby in 2 hours ride to the airport.

    After spent some time in Florida and crossed the Atlantic Ocean with a “budget” cruise ship (believe me, not more than airplane!), we disembarked in Barcelona. We didn’t have any hotel booked. We didn’t even start searching yet! I’m agree with you, just get up and go! Things like book accommodation, you can just do it when you arrive. We’ve done that a lot especially when we arrive early in a place.

  18. Brings up my memory about our last hours in our home town in Ontario. We were awake for the last 36 hours before we left to close down our apartment. We knew it was a big job – we started a week or more before, but we didn’t think it will be that bad. The room has to be ready for inspection in the morning so we wont get fined, which means we must fill in the holes in the wall and scrub clean some places. All items must go, all furniture must be disassembled and removed somewhere, all paperwork must get the final check. The suburban car we borrowed for doing this job was broken down and won’t turned on (even until we left). In the morning, I was not even done packing my backpack, still contemplating between bringing this or that. Whoah, it was a panic 36 hours! We slept like baby in 2 hours ride to the airport.

    After spent some time in Florida and crossed the Atlantic Ocean with a “budget” cruise ship (believe me, not more than airplane!), we disembarked in Barcelona. We didn’t have any hotel booked. We didn’t even start searching yet! I’m agree with you, just get up and go! Things like book accommodation, you can just do it when you arrive. We’ve done that a lot especially when we arrive early in a place.

  19. Kiera

    Congrats Adam on arriving in Spain! I sent you a few emails to connect you to some friends I have maintained since my 6 month tour in Europe (9 years ago!). Definitely use them if you can. Also, thanks for stopping in Columbus, Ohio to meet your 5 week old niece. Jolie greatly appreciates meeting her cool uncle. Have fun and I look forward to some postcards and future newsletters… :)

  20. Kiera

    Congrats Adam on arriving in Spain! I sent you a few emails to connect you to some friends I have maintained since my 6 month tour in Europe (9 years ago!). Definitely use them if you can. Also, thanks for stopping in Columbus, Ohio to meet your 5 week old niece. Jolie greatly appreciates meeting her cool uncle. Have fun and I look forward to some postcards and future newsletters… :)

  21. Congrats from a fellow Bostonian on taking the plunge, Adam! I left Boston about two months ago and wow, you described my last few weeks leading up to the departure almost to a T!

    All those little things to be done before leaving really add up and soak up your time; there are a whole list of things I never manged to get to!

    It will be interesting to see how you adjust to the new lifestyle. :) It’s been two months for me here in India (living out of ONE backpack) and it still doesn’t quite feel real! But I know it’s exactly what I want to be doing with my life!

    All the best and safe adventures!

  22. Congrats, Adam! Will take this advice to heart this fall. Maybe we’ll even get to meet up in Asia!

    • Adam

      I hope so! And I’m so glad you’ve decided to start traveling a little sooner than you were originally planning. I don’t think you’ll regret it one bit!

  23. Congrats, Adam! Will take this advice to heart this fall. Maybe we’ll even get to meet up in Asia!

    • Adam

      I hope so! And I’m so glad you’ve decided to start traveling a little sooner than you were originally planning. I don’t think you’ll regret it one bit!

  24. G @ Operation Backpack Asia

    Actually Adam, take it from a fellow long-termer who had to plan for a 3-year trip… you did it right. What you just described is what I hoped and FULLY expected to be able to make happen. But it didn’t. I was busy working on the trip for months and months beforehand, but still spent much of my pre-trip months lollygagging. In the end, in the precious two weeks before the trip after I’d quit work and everything, the time I had planned to center myself mentally and spend calm, quality time with my mom (I saw to friends about a month before, which was a good move)…it was nothing but utterly frantic packing, sorting, storing, backing up, and in the frenzy, stupidly leaving behind much of the (digital) stuff I now have wished many times I have with me, and would have, if it hadn’t gotten so crazy.

    I wish I’d been able to better set us up for our blogging and site/business development and gaining sponsorship as I’d intended, because it’s been really hard to do so on the road. You’ve been following us, you’ve seen our struggles to figure out what direction to take, what voice is ours, how we want this to go. You managed to get all this set up before you left, establish a presence online, and you have a great chance to make something big of your trip and bring the rest of the world with you. I’d say you did well, and that you did it just right, buddy! For us, it ended up feeling exactly like I’ve seen or heard other people be after planning, arranging, and executing a wedding (stress city). When we finally got to DELHI of all places, it was a relief and a sense of calm – NOW THAT SAYS SOMETHING!!! :P Seriously, it’s taken 9 months and only now after 2 weeks chilling and working at our beach hut do I feel like we’re finally starting to get our feet back under us and go where we wanted to go with this. Traveling is going to be awesome no matter what, and it has been for us. But I’m glad you got ample time to sit around, lounge, reflect on the past right up to before you left. You’ll have no problem looking your trip and every single day of the present straight in the eyes now. The awesome thing about life like this – it leaves you absolutely no other option.

    Live it up, friend! Congrats on beginning your journey and I’ll be following every step of the way. I look forward to seeing you when our paths cross, which they will. We’ll be sure of it. :) All the best! -G

  25. Good advice! I’ve been working out my scheduling now between when I stop work and actually leave for my RTW. I was planning on two weeks but maybe I will reconsider that….

    • Adam

      Yeah… If I’d thought more I’d cut it down just a bit. In all honesty, you’ve been planning the trip already for months and months. You really shouldn’t leave much to do in the last days (of course, there will always be things to do). I was so ready to get on the plane by the time May 4th came around.

  26. G @ Operation Backpack Asia

    Actually Adam, take it from a fellow long-termer who had to plan for a 3-year trip… you did it right. What you just described is what I hoped and FULLY expected to be able to make happen. But it didn’t. I was busy working on the trip for months and months beforehand, but still spent much of my pre-trip months lollygagging. In the end, in the precious two weeks before the trip after I’d quit work and everything, the time I had planned to center myself mentally and spend calm, quality time with my mom (I saw to friends about a month before, which was a good move)…it was nothing but utterly frantic packing, sorting, storing, backing up, and in the frenzy, stupidly leaving behind much of the (digital) stuff I now have wished many times I have with me, and would have, if it hadn’t gotten so crazy.

    I wish I’d been able to better set us up for our blogging and site/business development and gaining sponsorship as I’d intended, because it’s been really hard to do so on the road. You’ve been following us, you’ve seen our struggles to figure out what direction to take, what voice is ours, how we want this to go. You managed to get all this set up before you left, establish a presence online, and you have a great chance to make something big of your trip and bring the rest of the world with you. I’d say you did well, and that you did it just right, buddy! For us, it ended up feeling exactly like I’ve seen or heard other people be after planning, arranging, and executing a wedding (stress city). When we finally got to DELHI of all places, it was a relief and a sense of calm – NOW THAT SAYS SOMETHING!!! :P Seriously, it’s taken 9 months and only now after 2 weeks chilling and working at our beach hut do I feel like we’re finally starting to get our feet back under us and go where we wanted to go with this. Traveling is going to be awesome no matter what, and it has been for us. But I’m glad you got ample time to sit around, lounge, reflect on the past right up to before you left. You’ll have no problem looking your trip and every single day of the present straight in the eyes now. The awesome thing about life like this – it leaves you absolutely no other option.

    Live it up, friend! Congrats on beginning your journey and I’ll be following every step of the way. I look forward to seeing you when our paths cross, which they will. We’ll be sure of it. :) All the best! -G

  27. Good advice! I’ve been working out my scheduling now between when I stop work and actually leave for my RTW. I was planning on two weeks but maybe I will reconsider that….

    • Adam

      Yeah… If I’d thought more I’d cut it down just a bit. In all honesty, you’ve been planning the trip already for months and months. You really shouldn’t leave much to do in the last days (of course, there will always be things to do). I was so ready to get on the plane by the time May 4th came around.

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