Even though I’m craving my own space like I imagine an astronaut must crave gravity, there are benefits to living in a hostel and sharing a room with 10 other people. The first is the 9-euro a night price tag. The second is the ability to meet Swiss brother-and-sister-travellers who agree to an overnight road trip to Sevilla. Win!
I need to see other parts of this country. Dismally, I’m starting to doubt whether Malaga is the place for me. I’m like some kid on a limited budget in a pastry shop, panicking at the thought of choosing the wrong goodie and spending the next few months wishing I could eat that cream puff instead of this custard tart. In our 7 euro a day hire car, we set off for a night in what was, half a millennium ago, the Gateway to the Americas, with a stop at a little town called Ronda on the way.
It’s like Ronda fell out of a Lord of the Rings movie. Bright-coloured buildings frost the edge of a giant chasm under which white water rushes. A huge bridge towers over walking paths criss-crossing their way down to the rocks. Black clouds burst from the watchtower, which according to legend were both prisoners’ quarters and execution site, before morphing into birds, wheeling over my head and dropping away to surf the patch-worked Spanish countryside all the way to the horizon.
I could definitely live in Ronda.
And Sevilla. On a Friday night the University students the city is known for are decked out, heading this way and that to bars I don’t know and, frankly, can’t be bothered with tonight. It’s raining a little but a pair of rowers are out, smoothly slicing through the lamp light reflections in the city’s wide Guadalquivir River. The sun is setting and the entire city is bathed in a purple-blue glow. It’s buzzing and serene at the same time.
I could definitely live in Sevilla.
One would think that finding two new cities I could live in made the dilemma about Malaga harder. But actually, walking back to our hostel the next evening, I see it all in a new light. And realize why I’ve been so confused.
When I’m finding it difficult to make a decision, I’ve realised, it’s because I’m attempting to marry what I really want with what I think I ‘should’ want. Or with what other people want for me. Sometimes we need to explore, evaluate, understand and choose in a cocoon of our own voice.
Once we can work out, or more often, admit to ourselves what it is we actually want, decisions are as easy as slicing through jelly.
And I want to live in the city.
Everyone wants to live by the beach, and I understand that, but aside from one pretty awesome facebook update of the view from my lounge room (aka: caption, “Living Everyone’s Dream!!”) I don’t want to. I want to live in the city because I love the life of it. I love the buzz of people in the street looking for somewhere to eat at 9pm. I love the host of coffee shops, cozy restaurants and beautiful stores. I love the musicians playing on street corners and the fact I can ‘pop out’ for tapas just a couple of streets away at a moments notice.
Who knew I was a city girl? Not me. But there it is…
And so here I am.
In Malaga, Spain. Looking for an apartment in the city. A little burrow to call my own.
And just like that, once the decision is made, the answer arrives.