They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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The Magical City of Toledo

I’m a huge fan of Rick Steves’ travel books ever since my mom recommended it for my first international solo trip to Paris. It allows me to plan as little as possible and do next to no research. So with one extra day in Madrid (because I got dates mixed up and thought we were leaving a day earlier) and being a bit Madrid-ed out, I took out my handy-dandy Spain travel book by Rick Steves and decided to go to Toledo, a city that was only 30 minutes south of Madrid by speed train. From then on I could’ve sworn I was on the set of Lord of the Rings, it was just so surreal in its majestic beauty.

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We used Google maps to navigate and we had to remember that the “street” we were being directed to wasn’t always the type of street we were used to. As in they seemed more like alleys or walkways to our city-eyes.

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Of course they did have bigger streets as well, but not too many.

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I also did a slightly creeper move by peeking through someone’s gate to take a picture of their house. I couldn’t help it, the architecture and layout of such a small but beautiful space really fascinated me.

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And then we reached the Toledo Cathedral, the one place I thought we really needed to go based on the travel book. And, just, wow. The exterior of the cathedral, though still beautiful, did not do justice to the interior. That and it seemed to somehow mask how large the cathedral actually was.

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Towards the end of the day it started raining so we headed back to the train station. On the way there we were greeted by the smell of roses.
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Too bad there was a locked gate (that we couldn’t climb over either lol) so we couldn’t go in the garden, but it was enough that we got to stop and smell the roses. 🙂

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You know you miss someone when…

I saw this on my social media feed the other day and felt a little pang in my heart.

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I don’t currently feel this way about anyone but seeing this did remind me of a time when I felt exactly like this.

Around 5 years ago I was selected by my company to attend the National Space Symposium as part of the young leadership program. It was a great opportunity for networking and only one person in our division is selected every year. I felt extremely honored and excited, especially since I had been working my butt off at that time. I remember that year clearly…I was working constantly, to the point where I felt like I was burning out, but then I started to get recognition, I got promoted and even got a bonus, and then I was told that I was selected to go to the symposium. It was a very uplifting feeling and I remember just feeling so happy at that time.

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Look at that ecstatic face!

The National Space Symposium was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado and it was beautiful that time of year.

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I listened to various speakers from leaders in the space industry to astronauts, and I got to see some pretty cool things as well.

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It was business by day, all out fun by night, so at night I would network…and party at the same time!

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So what does this have to do with missing someone, considering I was having the time of my life? Well, at the end of the last night, right at the peak of my happiness and feeling of inspiration, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow I’m so happy right now. I want to call The Ex so I can share this moment with him,” and then feeling my heart sink when I realized it just wasn’t possible to do that anymore…so then I took one last sip of my drink and with a heavy sigh, I called it a night.

NOT! This was in my early twenties so of course I wasn’t smart enough to do that! What did I do instead?

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At least that’s what I attempted to do. Luckily, one of my new friends stopped me from doing it.

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I wish he was around to stop me when I made the stupid decision to reach out later on, but that’s a story for another time.

Back to the present…I’ve been feeling melancholy and a little lost this past week, not sure why. Maybe I really did leave my heart in Barcelona? Or maybe I’ve been seeing too many straight-to-the-heart memes lately? In any case, the weather was kind enough to allow me to do what I normally like to do when I feel like this, which is to take a walk.

 

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Glendale Park in Endicott, NY

 

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Can you spot the bunny?

It was really nice being there, especially because I remember the last time I was there I was in a completely different place in my life. At that time I had no idea how long I was going to be in  Binghamton, I couldn’t stop thinking about The One Who (Once) Made Me Crazy, and I just couldn’t have imagined the way my life has now turned out. Now I feel extremely grateful that my life has turned out better than I could have imagined despite my emotions bouncing all over the place at the moment. It’s funny how life turns out when you just let go and stop trying to plan every little detail. Being there was a great reminder that I should just let go and let God, as they say. Or chill the eff out as the younger generation would say. So yes, that is what I’ll do. No spreadsheets, no flow diagrams, just faith. 😛

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Sangria, Tapas, and Paella – Oh my!

Sangria.

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Tapas.

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PAELLA.

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Oh my!

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My adventure in Spain was not a solo affair. In fact, I wouldn’t have gone to Spain if my newfound travel buddy hadn’t invited me to tag along on her journey. And who would say no to this lovely face?

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Did we know each other well before this trip? Nope. But hey, she seemed cool, we both love traveling, so why not? (Actually there are many reasons as to why not but we ended up having a grand old time so it worked out :D)
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We walked around Gothic City (not to be confused with Gotham city, as my friend kept referring to it :P),
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enjoyed the street art,
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did a tour of the beautiful Palau de la Musica Catalana, which I absolutely recommend,

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bummed around on the beach,
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watched the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc light show,
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then ended our stay in Barcelona with some drinks and jazz.
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It was such a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine, sangria, and shopping. Then it was back to Madrid for us for some more adventures in España!
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I left my heart in Barcelona

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I’ve traveled quite a bit over the past few years but I’ve never felt a connection like I did with Barcelona. I fell in love with the city. The architecture, the beach, the beautiful people, and just… something about Barcelona spoke to me.

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There’s also just so much history in Barcelona. Like the Barcelona Cathedral, where construction started back in the 11th century. 11th! That’s freaking 10 centuries ago!
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I’m not exactly the most religious person, but I have to say I was encompassed with a feeling of peace and happiness once I entered the cathedral. I managed to get a few beautiful shots of the interior but afterwards I took a moment to enjoy the serenity that came over me.
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Afterwards I made my way outside and circled the cathedral. There were quite a few performers around the cathedral, making it a very lively and entertaining scene.
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I stayed out for quite a while on that first day until shortly before sunset, which is amazingly not until around 9pm in Spain. My feet told me it was time to go home but luckily I had the rest of the weekend to explore…and the rest of my life to come back. After all, I need to get my heart back at some point, right?
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