Wednesday, September 29, 2010

well, the road beckons me.
another summer come and gone.

the weather is turning up here, and all my summer skin has pealed away.
Snow is beginning to fall on the mountains, I do love the snow and mountains, though my nomadic tendencies precede that.

So, I bought a van and I leave in a week.

goodbye alaska, hello _____?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

woke up this morning to sunshine and trees.

birds were chirping, the air was fresh, and a smile was on my face after my dirt bike fired right up.

i missed the forest, and i think it missed me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

it is time.

so the end is near.

fiction only lasts so long.

at least now there is the knowledge.

the time has come my little friends..

time to follow in mr columbus' footsteps and take back woodmeria and return it to its rightful owners.

time to climb mt. woodmere and visit the oracle.

time to run through the unfathomable forests of the last frontier.

time to return to fight the tyranny of the american life.

and last of all time to give my young body a rest from living the gaditano life.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Looking through some files on my computer, I came across an essay my brother had written for school. Here is a little excerpt from it that i enjoyed and feel relevant at the moment...

"I return to my birthplace in Santa Cruz, CA for several days, before flying north to Alaska to try to find a fishing boat to work on.  Sometimes, we need to find oceans of solace for our minds to be free from the usual mental constraints of everyday busy urban lifestyle.  The ocean is a place for the mind to wander, and for words and thoughts to germinate into poetry and prose.  Unfortunately the altered state of mind known as cabin fever does sweep through the bays and inlets from time to time.  From there, unknown countries and roads beckon me onward.  For some the ability to recreate oneself in a fresh environment, exiled from certain unfavorable memories contained within the habitats of the past, is accomplished through the addictive remedy of wandering from place to place.

But these movements cycle and the travels and conversations with strangers and friends strengthen the ability to connect to the world.  Events and people circulate and the swirling ocean of time twists and turns and tosses those who choose to ride its treacherous currents.  As friends and lovers ebb and flow in and out of your life, your love for them accumulates within that singularity of time, that eternal moment, forever entwined within the tremendous mystery of the moibus strip of time.   The people you meet and the lives you affect are changed forever.   And even though you might just have more goodbyes when you leave, you will have just as much people to smile and hug you upon your return. How would we know how or what or who to love without loss or heartache?  With every pain we learn the extent of pure love.  Most times, loss is the only means to truly know how much the people we love mean to us. "

Monday, March 22, 2010

Life is good here in Spain, the sun is shining, but I still think about home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Lately, I have been thinking a lot about food, and the food I miss back home.
In these past fews weeks, however I have been able to find random things that are close to some of what I miss.
For example, yesterday I randomly walked into this weird asian asorted randomness store. They had a little food department as well. There I found RAMEN NOODLES! So I now have a few chicken and beef Ramen packs. It is not the exact brand as the kind back home but it is very similar. Also, when I went grocery shopping for cereal.. I found an off brand Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I was very dissapointed though, because it does not taste nearly as good as the real kind. Also, I have seen refried beans, which I havent bought yet. But I did see them in one supermarket.

So ya, kinda random post.. but hey.. i like food.
When I get back, im going to feast on taco bell, costco hot food, taqueria, and quiznos. Oh, and chai from toots.. :)

*EDIT- I completely forgot.. I cant wait to drink a arizona green tea again! :P 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

All there is.

So here I am, 4 months into my exchange.. In a few days, I will be at the halfway point. So looking back, how has it been? Well its difficult to answer that question really. Off the top of my head, I would say its been great! Going into it deeper, i'd say its been a journey.
I do feel like I have changed being here, which is what I had initially hoped. Now I might add, change is not always the best thing, but for the most part change is far superior to the alternative.
Here are my thoughts looking back so far.
September: This month was exciting, to say the least. So much happened, with so much anticipation. Yes, there was culture shock and all that. However, I was so ecstatic about being in a new country it was put to the side so to speak..
By November, it did begin to hit me.. I was in Spain, everyone here speaks spanish, and I got a long ways to go..
There are advantages to the people here knowing limited english, and that being you can speak your mind directly to people's faces. If you are at a restaurant with your friends and the food is bad, or the prices are high you can say it outloud and discuss it amongst yourself with out worrying about other people listening. Basically, you can say whatever you want and nobody realizes what you are saying.
Anyways, back to what I was talking about before.
I guess I will talk about the homesickness portion for a moment.
Homesickness, I'd say all the exchange kids here get it from time to time. It's inevitable, no matter how bad or how much you didnt like wherever you were before this.. You get homesick.
It usually lasts a day or two, then you get over it and realize hey! I'm in Spain, and I'll be back soon enough. A couple weeks later, the whole being in Spain thing gets to you and you start thinking about home again and so on and so forth..
School: The school here, it sucks. Really, it does. It might not for some of the other kids, in other schools in spain, but at least for me.. I hate it, which ya you might say.. Well, didnt you hate school back home as well? Yes, I did, but secretly a part of me enjoyed going and hanging out with my friends and going through the motions. Well, here.. I am having a very hard time sticking with it.
Spanish kids are.. strange to say the least. Ok, maybe not all spanish kids, maybe its just the gaditanos..

I think I'm getting a little off track.

I will skip forward to now. Its the weekend.. Saturday night, Sunday morning. 2:45 AM
I got home from my soccer game (we won 3-2) and my host sister had a few of the other exchange students over for a movie night. They were watching Fired Up, after I showered I decided to join them.. mainly for the chocolate cereal and candy :P just kidding. but not really. Its hard to pass that stuff up.
So, I'm not sure if I mentioned this earlier, but I did switch families a couple weeks ago. My old family, well... it just wasnt working out.
My new family is better, my host parents own a restaurant, which after school my host sister and I go to for lunch.
My host sister is a German exchange student, and we attempt to speak spanish to each other...

que mas... umm, I think thats pretty much all I've got on my mind for now.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Well, it has been over a month since my last post.
Quite a bit has happened and changed since then.
My Christmas vacation was amazing.
I left Cadiz on the 17th of December and flew to London to meet my sister. It was so good to see her and have a little feeling of home. We explored london together for a day and saw pretty much all the sites, including going to the Tate Art Gallery. During the time I spent with her, pretty much all we did was go around eating food various places. We ended up at Hyde Park for the Christmas Decorations and market there. :) Later that night, we took a bus to Edinburgh, Scotland. I barely slept at all on the bus, and we arrived the next morning at around 7:30 am. After dropping our stuff off at the hostel, we went on a walking tour of the city. Our tour guide was a Canadian girl, who studied abroad in Scotland and decided to stay there. After the tour, Nelly and I went to a German Market. We walked around drinking hot chocolate and eating crepes. It was decided that we needed to try Haggis, which is basically sheep intestine. We walked up to a bar/restaurant and ordered a serving of haggis. It didnt taste all that bad and we actually enjoyed the small dish. We looked in a couple travel books for local pubs that would have live music and decided to try and find one. The first place we went to had instrustments, but the musicians were nowhere to be found. After waiting an hour or so we decided to move on. The next little pub was packed. There were two guys playing music. One had a natural snarl to his face with a thick scottish accent. If anybody started talking he would snap and get all red in the face with anger for them talking and not listening to the music. We decided it was getting pretty late and the next morning we had to catch a bus back to London so we walked back to the hostel.
By the time Nelly and I got to London we had only a few hours before I had to leave for the Airport. We hung out at the hostel for awhile and ate Chinese take out and watched tv. I took the tube over to Victoria Station where I had to wait from 1am-4am in the freezing cold for the shuttle bus to the airport, which is an hour away. (Stansted) My flight dropped me in Cork, Ireland at around 7:30. My dad's friend's wife from Santa Cruz grew up in Ireland and has family there that were kind enough to take me in for a week or so. Anyways, Jeanienne was there at the Airport to pick me up. We went back to her flat, where her brothers had spent the night and were waiting. After they made a typical irish breakfast for me, which was bacon, pudding (kinda like haggis), and eggs, we went out to walk around Cork. That night, we went over to her brother's house to have a pre-Christmas dinner. It was a very good meal and had all the usual favorites. It was very cold that night, and the road to Cahir where the parents live was too icy, so we decided to just stay the night at William's house and the next morning go to Cahir.
Ok, im getting kind of tired of writing so much, so I will skip ahead a little.
After a week in Cahir, I went with one of the son's to Kerry for a new year's celebration/college kayakers club get together.
However, I had to leave the afternoon of the 30th to go back to Cahir so I could catch my train to Dublin the next morning at 7. New Year's eve was fairly uneventful, I went to a family dinner party and we stayed up and watched as fireworks went off across europe on the TV.
The next morning Mr. Mccarthy (Bill) took me to the train station and I took the 2 hour train ride to Dublin. However, the airport was closed as was all public transportation due to heavy ice and snow. So, I walked around Dublin for awhile and finally returned to the train station to find out the Airport had reopened and I found other people stranded with no way to get to the airport from the train station. So we all piled into a 8 person cab and made it to the airport in time for my flight to Aberdeen.
Upon arrival in Aberdeen, I was greeted and picked up by my old Bible teacher from Monte Vista. Mr Nigh. Fortunately, he didnt have his nerf gun with him this time.. :P
He brought me back to his house, and I had a delicious dinner with him and his wife.
The next morning, Adam walked around Aberdeen a bit. He showed me his school and all the old buildings.
That evening, I played Wii Sports with his son Calvin. Video Games these days are pretty fun. I played tennis, golf, and boxing. They were all pretty amusing. :)
I also went to church while I was in Aberdeen. It was interesting to be back in a Church again. Being in Spain, I don't really go to church at all. And during the summer, I'm usually out fishing.
It was just interesting..
On the final day in Aberdeen, I found this little coffee shop called books and beans. It was probably my favoritest coffee shop I have ever been too.
I spent most of the afternoon drinking chai and reading various books. It was a wonderful afternoon. After that coffee shop closed, I went to another one down the street. It didnt have any books, but it still was a place to drink some tea and read some of a book I bought about rock climbing in oregon.
The next morning, I had an early 6 am train to Glasgow. I love trains. They are pretty relaxing. Anyways, not much happened in Glasgow. Then took a train to Prestwick, walked around there took pictures. Slept, woke up at 4:30 am to walk in -10 weather to the airport for my flight to Malaga. I had 3 flannels on, a sweatshirt, and a jacket on. Then I had my flannel pj's, my sweat pants, and jeans on as well. I was almost warm.. :)

On arrival in Malaga, I was greeted by RAIN! But it was about 20 degrees warmer than Scotland.. So I was happy.
I was picked up at the airport by Michael Saunders, who is in charge of a company called SwitchBacksDH. A bike shuttling service in the Malaga area.
There were 2 other people he had picked up earlier who were from the States as well, but were living in Germany due to being in the army.
The next morning, after eating breakfast at a little cafe. Michael came and picked us up. The group was now, Lucky- the shuttle bus driver Michael- Owner Henrik- Pro Danish DH're/Guide Tim/Jess- Couple in the Army Johann- Austrian doctor and ME!
This post is getting long so I wont go into all the details of the week in Malaga. It was amazing, and the riding was amazing. It was great to be back on a bike.
After Malaga, I took a plane to Madrid. In Madrid, there were most of the kids who I had met in the first few days in Barcelona. InterHispania, had a trip that was tours of various Madrid sights that I had signed up for. It was really cool to see everybody again. It was also cool that there was about 40 girls and only 10 or so guys.. The tours were not too exciting, but it was nice getting to see various old relics.
In the evenings, we had free time to do as we pleased. During this time, I was able to explore Madrid with my friends.
The 3 days in Madrid went by quickly, and I was soon on a bus back to Cadiz. The bus ride was 8 hours long, and it felt even longer.
Finally, I was back in Cadiz after my month long break from the place.
I cant say it was too great to be back, I really enjoyed getting to travel around, but money was getting low and I had school to get back to.
That night, I went out with my fellow exchange students and somehow ended up swimming at 2 am in the ocean. i guess it was kinda nice being back with my friends..

For photos of my trip check out my flickr..