What do you do when you get desensitized to amazing castles, towers, cathedrals, and palaces? What do you do when you can’t even see them? What does it mean when you don’t get the chance to practice a language you’ve studied for months? Does it matter that you don’t meet many natives? And what exactly is culture anyway? What is the point of traveling?
On my way to Madrid I had to wait in the Valencia train station for seven hours because I missed an earlier train. I was getting used to my new health problem that showed up the night before and was wondering what I would do for the next ten nights. I went to the caf? and shared a table with a German tourist. The table was small and the metal chair was uncomfortable. I drank coffee and sat there for three hours with a pen and notebook, thinking, drawing, and writing nothing of real importance. I sat there a man without any obligations: no one I had to call or see, no meeting to attend or job task to perform, no deadline or pressure of any kind to face, as free and disconnected as I can get, happy and at peace with myself. It turns out I don’t travel for the girls, for the culture, for the food, or for the sights; I travel just so I can sit somewhere with my own thoughts, alone, with a pen, free from the noise and routine of everyday life. As for everything else that happens during travel — well, those things are just a bonus.