chapter thirty six

Hola desde España!!

I am having the best time in the world AND my mom is here with me so it’s made exploring the city twice as fun!

We’re less than a week out from going home (wee, no more out-of-a-suitcase living…I’m getting antsy) and she came to spend time with me in the motherland, Spain. <3

We’ve seen (and eaten, oops) a lot in our two days here so far and they have both been completely free, off days!

TWO, EVERYONE. TWO. This is major.

It has never happened before and let me tell you, it couldn’t have come at a better time. My mom and I have gotten to see so much and really immerse ourselves in the culture of this beautiful city. I can’t wait to go to Madrid and then Portugal after that for three days!

I love spending time with my mom.

I think it’s really cool as kids get older how they hang with their parents more. When you grow up and it becomes less of an “ew, Mom go away” and becomes a “hey, let’s get some wine and watch a movie.”

I was always running off with my own friends in high school and before. My mom and I were always close of course, but grew closer as I got older.

I first felt it when I went to college. I was all ready for the next adventure but when it happened and I was away officially I couldn’t believe how homesick I got. And it wasn’t just entirely homesick for my high school friends, it was most of all missing my family.

Classic case of not fulling appreciating what you got till it’s not right in front of you anymore, I guess. :)

But, I love spending time with my mom.

I love how close we are now. I love how even though she is absolutely terrified of flying she will get on a plane in a heartbeat to spend time with me.

She will come just to watch over me when I’m sick, just to see me for a few hours on a show day, or (when we’re lucky) actually get to spend time with me when I’m free.

She will maneuver her schedule in whatever way to make sure I’m taken care of. This included when I would leave my homework at home. Yeah, I was that kid. Sorry, Mom.

I feel really lucky and proud to have her as a Mom. She is a shining example of what actually being selfless is. And it’s inspiring.

She’s not perfect, nor have I ever met any mother who was. She makes weird comments that I love to make fun of her on Twitter for. She sings a lot, publicly, I’ve noticed. That must be where I got my love of it from. :)

Most of all, I love how she is becoming open to adventure and trying things. When we were in Japan I made her eat some debatable sushi (which she hated – it’s a texture thing) and then SHE wanted to order cuttlefish here!

To be honest, I had no idea what cuttlefish was until it came out looking all…freaky. I was just so excited she was down that I was like YEAH, it’s a thing here I want to try it too!

It was a miss to be honest – I can close my eyes but I can’t shut my mouth off from experiencing texture.

But I LOVE trying new things, especially in a new place. Because what’s the point of traveling to just be comfortable? What’s the point of seeing a bunch of new places and going on new adventures just to come back the exact same ol’ you?

We will all have different opportunities in life to travel, to live vicariously, to experience different things. It can be a new flavor right next door or across the world.

But even if you’re stubborn…even if you’re afraid, I dare you to try something new. I dare you to try a lot of new things.

Our lives are speeding by. High school seems like forever ago and now I’m engaged and living this dream life. I couldn’t be happier with where I am personally in my life and I will continue to learn and grow to whatever life throws at me.

But life speeds by. Time is short. It is indiscernible.

And you will never know when it will be taken away from you.

So for yourself, for the people that have had their time stolen from them, enjoy your life.

Accept the mistakes and move on. Learn.

Love even if you’re afraid. Love even more. Learn. Grow.

The opportunity we have of opening our eyes every day is something not everyone has.

So make sure to appreciate ALL of it. <3

I will absolutely be geeking out on social media about my mom and my adventures so we’ll see if I can actually get her to be dancing down the streets. ;)

Speaking of enjoying life and connecting, I’ve added a new international category to KirstinConnect!! I’ve heard requests from some people who feel they can’t properly communicate their feelings due to language barriers or just want to initially discuss something with someone who may understand more being in the same place, so I wanted to make sure everyone felt as if they were at home and comfortable. <3

The countries I have chosen so far are the ones that made sense to start groups for, but if you have suggestions for which come next please send them our way!

In no way is it meant to divide or categorize us as a family. Sometimes I think labels or categories of any kind only separate us from each other, but I think it is so important to find a community, a group, something where you can be entirely yourself and safe to express yourself. And then things move forward from there. :)

I love you all so much and hope this helps make people feel at home, and I am really happy that so many of you feel free enough to express yourselves and lift each other up.

I am so honored to be a part of your community. :)

I’ll go share some more daring things at the end of my trip, maybe I’ll get my mom to try some other weird things!!

Till next time!



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