A memory from 2006


More than 10 years ago, a few months after turning 18, I travelled by myself, from New Zealand to Spain, to take an intensive Spanish language course in Sevilla.

I remember having a short stopover in Amsterdam and running by an info-robot on wheels, with no time to satisfy my curiosity.

In Madrid I was greeted by the old Europe of 4-storey grey buildings. It was raining when I landed and my taxi driver pointed out important sights as we made our way down the main avenues of the Spanish capital.

I stayed at a little hostel there for two days exploring the city. I was just starting to eat gluten free and immediately ran into problems with the abundance of bakeries that offered nothing but pastries.

When my time in Madrid was up, I woke up at 4am, and began to lug my heavy bags through Madrid's metro system. I was greeted by party people making their way home. When the handle of my large bag broke, a few of them helped me carry it for a bit.

Flying into Sevilla a few hours later awoke old memories of going to Turkey as a child. The dry Mediterranean landscape awakened an appreciation for something I didn't know I had missed.

In general, I remember the past poorly. I only remember this episode quite well because I kept a journal and took a lot of photos along the way. In a world where we are scared to live only through our screens, I find it helpful to remember that at the right balance the screen allows us to re-live past memories that would otherwise be forever forgotten. I use this knowledge to remember to document what I experience today. At some point in the future I'll look back with gratitude that I recorded it.

Josh Levent