I was super excited to return to Seville, which I had been to once before, years and years ago (about 20, I believe) with my mother and brother. I remember it being a vibrant and colorful city, full of ceramics and Flamenco, although it has definitely become more modern, I wasn’t disappointed. Seville is such a vibrant city where the locals really seem to take time to enjoy life! On Saturday, we enjoyed hanging out in a square close to our apartment and watched big groups of friends sitting at tables eating, drinking and having fun. There was a soccer match going on (Barcelona playing Madrid-a big rivalry) and everyone seemed to revel in the competition.
The following day, Sunday, typically is the day for family, again we saw large groups relaxing in the square taking time to enjoy the company. It was lovely to feel the emotions of this city with such a big heart. We stayed in the old quarter where small cobblestone streets wind their way by Flamenco shops, antique shops, ceramic stores, clothing stores, cafes and more. The Flamenco stores carry Flamenco dresses of all fabrics and colors. Some are quite expensive and beautifully made. In April, there is a huge Flamenco festival that takes place and it seemed like everyone was getting ready for that. It was nice to see so many fabric stores, as they seem to be dying out in the States. There is still a huge presence of traditional craftsmanship in this lovely city. We very much enjoyed getting lost in the streets of Old Seville.
We did find our way to a wonderful Flamenco Show with live guitar that moved us all. We cheered with the locals during the soccer matches and drank and ate tapas in the squares. We toured the Alcazar, a stunning example of Moorish architecture, with its beautiful gardens, while in contrast viewed the thoroughly modern Metropol Parasol Marbol, designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann. Seville is definitely a city of old and new, for me the old is what I like most in this tradition rich city.
Please note this was a blog entry that was started during our European trip (over a year ago) and just finished recently, after our return.
Returning from our European adventure was quite an emotional experience for me. Traveling throughout Europe for 7 months was a dream come true. We had planned and saved for years and I really wasn’t sure what we were going to do once we got back. We moved back into our old house (literally, it is 106 years old) without much of a plan. Now back to the drawing board to get it going again.
First things first, we needed to get the girls back in school and figure out how we were going to make money again. Our finances had dwindled down from our travels, so we sold a piece of real estate to help get us going again. My husband set out with a new job and I struggled to get my grounding, feeling uninspired and lost. I had dreamed of traveling for so long and now I knew that had come to an end, for now. We promised our kids to stay in one place until they were out of high school, so we were here to stay and had to settle in.
The shift from being constantly on the go and experiencing new things everyday to going back to old routines and familiar places was quite huge. We were excited to see family and friends again and have some downtime. We were also very happy to get back to being with our family pets that we had to leave behind, the girls were happy to play soccer again, and just gearing down with the ease of familiar foods and no language barriers made things simple. My husband was completely burnt out on loading and unloading the car (we only had to pack and unpack 48 times, not sure why he was complaining, ha!) and I was getting tired of always feeling a little lost, so our customary ways are not so bad.
Now, after being back for just a little more than a year, we have jumped back into our always changing, yet everyday life. The girls got right back into school, friends and soccer. They have done great and have had a better understanding and appreciation from having seen so much from traveling. My husband has now started his own business which is getting off to a good start, but of course, has its stresses. I though, am still struggling to get a foothold, but think I have finally found a way. I really enjoyed writing this blog about our travels and have not felt able to write since we have been back. I guess it is just that I haven’t had much to say. It has been really hard to switch back into my old way of living, I have been struggling and stuck, instead of appreciating the fact that I even had this opportunity to travel in the first place and am so lucky in my life. I feel like traveling is such a big part of what makes me happy and now that our incredible journey is over, I just haven’t been able to figure out what to do next. I have a plan now though, and it starts with getting back to what I really enjoy doing; blogging, taking pictures and I have started writing a travel guide for kids. I figure if I cannot travel at the moment, at least I can dream about it. Oh, and I do need to fix up our old house too. So now I am ready to get going again! Okay, here we go. I am really going now. Let’s go. For real this time. That is it, committing now! 1-2-3! Go!!!