A Backpacking Story

[Granada Diaries. August 2011.]

Let me tell you a story.

In a resplendent little hostel nestled amidst the cobblestoned slopes of Albayzin, Granada, worked a man from Boston by the name of Nick. I met this friendly young man during my travels this summer when I stayed at the Makoto Backpacker’s Hostel. He showed me around – “here’s our little kitchen. Breakfast is free, from 8 to 11 each morning”, “these are our hammocks, we only request that you take your shoes off when you use them”, “here’s your bed for the next three nights” – and then proceeded to pour me an awful version of Tinto de Verano at the ramshackle bar.

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One night, after wandering around Granada for hours, I returned to Makoto huffing and puffing, and plopped myself down at the bar.

“So how’ve you been?” Nick enquired, as he poured me a drink.
“Good. I love Granada.”

As I sipped my drink, I was overcome with curiosity about how someone from Boston happened to work in a quirky little hostel in the hills of southern Spain.

“Well, I backpacked to Granada last year – sort of like you, actually – and stayed at the Oasis hostel. And I fell in love with the city. So I moved here.” Simple.

Now this story might not be particularly spectacular, but some of you might share my admiration for the idea of packing your bags on an impulse and going after something you want without really knowing what lies ahead.

And for abandoning the futile pursuit of wealth and social status for something more satisfying.

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