Farewell letter to 2019

2019… how generous you were! A year that I will always remember, for being the one that I started fulfilling my biggest dream. Precisely it started at 00.10 on January 1, when our plane took off from Ezeiza – Buenos Aires airport, on a trip without a return ticket. 

2019, you were the most intense year of my life. The infinite experiences that I lived while your months went by, were more than those of my previous 32 years together.

2019, you witnessed me being in the mountains, in the sea, in huge cities, in tiny villages and in the most remote countryside. I traveled in all the means of transport that you can think of: airplanes, boats, cars, trains, buses, petit taxis, grand taxis, normal taxis, by hitch-hiking, in tuc tuc, etc. It was very cold and very hot for me. I slept in luxury homes, in places that were falling apart and I even slept outdoors in a Berber family’s garden at the door of the Sahara desert.

Some examples of different accommodations of this year, in Villa Minozzo (Italy), Essaouira and Tetouan (Morocco)

I visited ten countries, of which seven were “new” (Turkey, Morocco, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Bulgaria). I returned for a second or third time to three countries and I really enjoyed everything that those reunions brought me (with England, Italy and Spain).

Istanbul, the first destination of 2019 (and a city we will always want to return to) 

I learned a million new things, for example what an almond looks like on the tree and when it has to be collected, to cook tagine (typical Moroccan food), mint tea, batboot (Moroccan bread), chutney (Indian-English sauce), to buy a live chicken in the souk (typical Arab market), that nodding in some parts of the world can mean “no”; that I can adapt to an infinite number of different situations; that I can spend days without bathing (because there may not be a shower in the place where I am and that there are people who live like this all their life); that there are good and bad people everywhere; that my normality is the most exotic thing in the world for others. More importantly, on each of your 365 days, I was infinitely thankful to be living my dream of living traveling and telling stories about it.

Fresh almonds from the tree (in Spain), the train where we learned that nodding the head means “no” (in Bulgaria) and Abdel’s house, where there was no shower and the “bathroom” was a latrine shared between the entire building (in Morocco) 

I did a lot of things for the first time in my life, so many that I think I already lost count. These are the ones I remember now: I skated on ice (in Plovdiv, Bulgaria); I lived in a house with solar energy and drove a convertible car (in the Alpujarras Granadinas, Spain); I ate lots of fruits and vegetables directly from the garden; I visited an Arab country (Morocco); I took a flamenco class at Amor de Dios flamenco school (in Madrid), I cooked and ate gingerbread cookies for Christmas; I started doing house-sitting, volunteer work and couch-surfing (in many parts of the world); I ate almonds straight from the trees; I learned to give injections to a dog; I fed a camel; I learned to adapt my activities to the weather or daylight hours; I swam in the sea in the month of October; I saw the snow in the month of December; I lived with (“only”) what I could carry with me.

My first time ice skating and Omar’s around 258th time
A December with many novelties: snow and gingerbread cookies
Some of the many things we ate directly from the garden, in this case, at our house-sitting in Bulgaria 

2019, you were the year that my blog was born, which I enjoy so much, that I dreamed of so much and that I hope to continue filling with experiences over the years.

You also saw the birth of my photographic project A world at the door, in which I collect doors from all over the world and group them with different themes (by place, color, shape, state, etc.). I already have thirty models, look:

Of course there were also bad times and I’m glad because they are the ones that strengthened me the most, made me grow (as a traveler and as a person) and made me appreciate the times that were better.

The most stressful thing of the year: not knowing if I was going to get my Italian ID document (and as you can see I got it!)

Best of all, thanks to this incredible year, I got to know myself with an intensity and depth like never before: I confirmed that the day I stop traveling and stay still is going to be in a city (and in as much as possible a fairly large city), I discovered that I am a fan of Islamic architecture and calls to prayer, I learned that I can fast during daylight hours and that hunger and anxiety (to some extent) can be controlled with willpower, I discovered that I can live with really very little (and that made me feel more free than ever).

London, one of the cities we visited during this year, where I want to stay and live
Istanbul, a place where we could stay a long time…

So for all this, 2019, I only have words of gratitude for you… thank you, thank you, thank you, for so much!

And if you want to continue reading about how 2019 was, our first year of living traveling, in terms of expenses, numbers, statistics, etc., you can find a lot of information about that in the following post:

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