A Backpacking Story

August 2011
Granada, Spain

“So what if it was no longer acceptable to drift with the wind, asking for bread and a roof, sleeping on bales of hay and enjoying dalliances with barefooted farm boys, then running away before the harvest? This was the life I wanted, blowing around like a leaf with appetites.” — Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

Let me tell you a story.

In a resplendent little hostel nestled along the cobblestoned slopes of Albayzin, Granada, worked a man from Boston by the name of Nick. I met this amicable 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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Hot Chocolate Makes Me Ponder

August 2011
Sevilla, Spain

I was sitting outside a café, sipping hot chocolate and people-watching. Obviously my experience in Sevilla is unique because I happen to be a tourist—somebody who is merely passing through. But as I watched the cars whizzing by, couples greeting each other in front of restaurants, people jogging on the streets iPod-in-hand, I began to wonder what life in Sevilla would be like.

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