It has been more than a month since I took the plunge and went on a two-weeks solo trip to Spain. So much has happened since then – growth, self-discovery, friendships and… backtoschool (hmmph). I thought before I start writing on the individual places I’ve been to, I’d kick start the SeekingSpain series of entries with somewhat of an ode to it. Something to honour it and put it into perspective.
Let me be honest – the idea to head to Spain during Easter break wasn’t an idea that came out of the blue. It was something that I had in mind way before, but not in the manner that it eventually materialised. The initial plan was to have the ex fly here, and with a few other friends, head to Spain. It was to be his 30th birthday trip.
But for reasons I now know, he never got around to booking his flight here. It turned out too that my friends here also couldn’t make it for the trip. But it’s okay, cos hey, that’s part of the bigger plan, isn’t it?
Two days after the ordeal broke out, I sat down in front of my laptop, searched the dates for flights and booked it on whim. Yes, on whim. I wasn’t exactly thinking much about it. I saw the dates, sketched up a rough plan and bought the flight tickets (Manchester-Malaga, Sevilla-Barcelona, Barcelona-Liverpool), all within the hour.
It was quite mechanical. I was detached from the situation. In fact, you could say I was acting on a fight-or-flight survival mechanism. A part of me knew it was something I needed to do. Get away. And you know what the best thing about it was? Everything fell into place. All the dates were nicely put and the prices were cheap.
That was my first lesson of this whole trip: When something is meant to happen, it will happen.
It was only after the deal’s been set that I actually sat back and realised – Wow, I’m going to Spain. Alone.
I didn’t tell my parents about it initially cos honestly, too many things were happening and I wasn’t sure of their reaction. I only told them the night before I left and alhamdulillah, their reactions were priceless. Dad’s reaction: “Takpe, Allah ada. Baguslah kakak pergi tengok sejarah Islam kat sana, cari diri sendiri sekali.” [It’s okay, Allah is with you. It’s good that you’re going to see the history of Islam there, you get to find yourself too.] My mum just wished me all the best and told me that I’m in her prayers. ♥ Ahhh, now you know where I get my adventurous spirit from. 🙂
Ahh but anyway… The trip wasn’t about self-discovery initially. It was all about escape through travel. I needed to get myself physically away from my day-to-day life and throw myself into something unknown. It was a challenge to myself, to step out of my comfort zone and in a way, reclaim my sense of control.
But oh boy, control was definitely flung out the window the moment I stepped onto Spanish soil. I was alone in a land where very few people speak English and hijabis are a rare sight. There and then, I realised I was entirely in His hands.
At the metro station of Malaga Airport, I made the second best decision (the first being actually going on the trip): I let go of control and opened myself up to His plans. I said a prayer and thought:
“Here I am, entirely alone and under Your mercy. Guide me as You will and protect me as only You can. I am open to whatever You have planned for me so lead me. Verily, You are the best mender of broken hearts and souls, and You are the best of planners.”
That, my dear, was the start of my journey of self-discovery and growth.
Upon reflection, I cannot even begin to express the profound wisdom of the many things and people whom were placed into my path during the two weeks that have changed me. In the next few entries, I will try my best to share the places, the memories, the things I’ve learnt but it will not be enough.
So many things happened, so many realisations made.
I am excited to finally sit down, reflect and share the journey and lessons with you (and to my future self to remember).
I am ready. Will you join me on this little adventure? 🙂