On starting again. Catalan Style.

So my new story starts here, in sunny Tarragona, the sun  and the chill of the spring time sea wind on my face. From Istanbul to Catalonia I am on the road (over 6 months on) to finding and truly knowing myself in a new country and for the first time living abroad alone (last year I was con relationship).

My shaky flight into Reus airport felt like an ominous warning of things to come. A never ending blanket of black cloud engulfed the airport, making the descent a rattling, tumultuous one complete with screaming children throwing up on themselves and what felt like a death defying lightning strike. I was greeted at the airport by my new boss (or jefe en espanol) and delivered to my new home, greeted by a young looking friendly landlord who almost set the kitchen on fire lighting the large gas stove top.

Unlike Istanbul as soon as I arrived at the place, it felt like home. Akin to meeting someone on the first night and feeling like you have known them for many years. Sometimes things just, fit.

My first weekend was spent navigating the streets, trying to make my way down to the beach in vain, (Tarragona’s Miracle beach is right next to the train tracks which annoyingly do not have a bridge to cross over therefore there are only two points of entry to get on to the bloody thing), my ignorance leading me to a not so impressive end of the port.

One of my first observations in my new home, was that the afternoon siesta is actually a thing. Note my disappointment at leaving my apartment after a much needed lie in to find my new home a ghost town. Shutters down, streets empty. Even the Spar closes during siesta, the one time I am free to go shopping. Makes sense.

Its funny now, looking back at how different things looked back when I first arrived. At how the eyes of experience make the streets take on a different colour. These well worn streets I traverse on a daily basis once induced wonder, with a shine that perhaps can only be appreciated once they eventually become familiar and you look back and remember how wandering them made you feel.

After a school year in the big smoke, Tarragona was just the sort of place I needed to go to clear my head and reduce the resulting stress induced trauma inevitable when  living in the crazy that is Istanbul.

My photographs here remind me of the thoughts and feelings of those first few days. A new beginning in more ways than one.

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