i visited barcelona and las ramblas as a 15 year old (just a few days shy of my 16th birthday) on a trip with my high school french teacher and a few other french and spanish students. it was my gift in lieu of a quinceñera from my parents and probably the best choice i could’ve made for myself as a young whippersnapper. that trip watered the wanderlust that had already been planted in my heart as a young girl by my momma’s own wanderlust and a love of the written word which took me to the moors of england, the streets of paris, and the temples of greece. it also came just a year short of the first anniversary of 9/11.
i remember being in awe of this country that was a world away from my own. the language, the people, the food, the history, the architecture…it was all so beautiful and inspiring. 15 years later, i still remember vividly the beaches and colors and buildings and streets. i remember park güell and la sagrada família, and grabbing a bite to eat at a café on las ramblas. it was the trip of a lifetime for a 15 year old girl with a heart full of the world and art and history.
we are a generation who has matured in a world where terrorists can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors – they are often strangers, but also sometimes neighbors – and acts of terrorism fill our screens and social media. they attack our places of refuge, the places we flock to fill our hearts with love and life, historic sites, places where we make changes to our government – to attempt to strike fear in our hearts and keeps us from moving forward in peace and love and hope.
but here’s the thing…we keep wandering. and in so doing, we show our strength and resilience. my heart will always be full of wanderlust – that’s who i am, who my people were before me. we don’t let the fear of what may happen, what could happen, what has happened, keep us from traveling and learning and experiencing and living. and that, babes, is the most honest and peaceful way to fight terrorism. i have always stressed that a life well-lived is a life full of love and hope and dreams. so keep on doing that, babes. keep on dreaming and traveling and loving.
my heart is with the victims of the most recent terror attacks, both here in the u.s. and abroad, and their families.