Today the world is as globalized as it could be - - yet we struggle to find meaning in our daily existence.

26 August 2011

Europa '11: 1. Espana - Bienvenido a Madrid

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On route to Madrid Barajas Aeropuerto.

Globe trotting - one of the most mind-expanding, culture-enhancing, and life-learning experiences one could do. It is without a doubt, that most people would travel, given the opportunity to do so. They say, when we are in our youth we have time, but no money. Later, when we get older we have money yet no time. Such a paradox. I am thankful to have been given such an opportunity to see the world now still, while I have a little of both.

After being on a plane for over 16 hours (one way from Incheon to Moscow then Madrid), I realized how important flight has been towards advancing our species; a trek that would have normally taken months, reduced less than 24 hours. It's no wonder why culturally people in Asia are different from people in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and even Africa. Internally, we are all same in that we have blood running through our veins, hearts to pump the blood, brains to think, muscles to move, skeletons to keep everything together. The only difference is in our exterior, the pervasive and dictating colors of our skin. That alone has the power to influence one's fate, to mobilize entire countries, and to map the planet into racial boundaries only accessible through a passport.

To be free from racial prejudices, fictitious stereotypes, and ideological discrimination, one needs to see the world outside their own neighborhood. One needs to breathe the air from the other side of the planet.

1. MADRID

Out of all the cities we visited, I think Madrid "wowed" me the most. The architectural designs have withstood history (for now), and the beautiful streets, corridors, and plazas truly make this place magical, day or night. I have not seen any other place in Europe like it. I was too enamored by all the fascinating designs, that I had to constantly stop myself from taking too many pictures of just buildings! In regard to food, aside from tapas, I think we ate a baguette with some meat and cheese at least once a day. I was already craving rice a few days in, but it was nice to have a change up in my diet. It was also fantastic to have a competent guide with us on our trip. Jamie, who is teaching English in Madrid, was our wonderful host for the weekend, and she made this first leg of the trip a lot easier and fun for us. Thank you Jamie!

Now to begin my visual story.
enjoi :D

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Little did we know that this would be us at the end of our trip.

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Spare some humanity please.

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Nina, Lauren, Keny, Jamie.

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Plaza del Sol after midnight.

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The view from Jamie's apartment.

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Tapas. The first of many.

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A gypsy outside the Mercado de San Miguel. I gave her some change after taking her photograph.

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BW makes architecture more exciting.

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En Dios Confiamos

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Ultra wide and slim on Superia 400

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For Syria.

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They're both Jeff. But, I know them as Sugi and Tang.

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Then there's Beans and Tomo.

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Omabu, Beans, and Keny.

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Our Espana group.

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Keny and me on a boat in the middle of Retiro Park.

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Ray, Beans, and Chewie.

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One of my favorite street performers.

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My favorite candid moment of Lauren.

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Dogs in Europe are all huge. They make dogs in Korea look like fleas.

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A little bit of street photography here and there.

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There's a lot more on the way. Consider this the tip of the iceberg!
I hope these photographs only inspire you to travel in the near future.

Now: Europa '11: 1. Espana - Bienvenido a Madrid
Next: Europa '11: 2. Espana - Madrid cont. & Holy Toledo


pax

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