Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Even though it’s over, my dreams are filled with afternoons at beaches after class, screaming marches in the streets, cannon blasts in the distance, and five-foot-high bonfires. Markets of baked breads and fresh fruits, the blood of bulls spread across arena floors, old cathedrals and ancient violins. Strawberry fields and caboose rides with the engulfing winds, chocolate and churros, carnival rides and candy tents. Early morning classes and lazy afternoon lunches with my host family. Walking the Camino in reverse, counting golden seashells on the ground, parrots chirping on the terrace, laundry blowing on balconies in the sun. Galaxy globes, Galician octopus, broken tambourines and flamenco dancers, sea shell sand and angry sea gulls. Toldeo, Isla de Ons, Villagarcia, and more. 

I’ve learned how the people of Spain aren’t afraid to scream from the depths of their lungs, and they aren’t afraid to notice when something is wrong. They’re willing to sit on cobblestones for hours on end, raising their hands and souls to a higher worth. I’ve learned that in Spain, love is nothing to be ashamed of, hide from, keep secret. It doesn’t matter if it’s your family or a brother or a mother, love is love. It should be shared and enjoyed. I want to go back to ancient cemeteries and lighthouses, giant painted compasses and rocky cliffs. The end of the world and the end of the Camino. Train rides and park benches, giant boulders covered in cacti, sardine floors and bonfire long jumps, a side of popcorn with mojitos and boxed wine. I’ll miss it all. It’s been too fast. If I could go back, I happily would. But then again, it’s definitely time to begin another summer in the heat of the dirty South, soaking up the humidity and remembering how feelings of truth can be applied. Things have only just begun.