As I’ve discovered in every Spanish experience we’ve had so far, there is a major learning curve. We decided to Airbnb it in Granada for a couple of weeks after Amoraleza and figure out what we wanted to do from there.
You see, I keep trying to push my son to be decisive, learn how to navigate systems, and make some grown folk decisions. I let him choose our Airbnb. There were quite a few options, including pretty pimpin pads that actually had TWO bedrooms. But something, kept telling him to pick the one with ONE bedroom that had another bed in the living room, which was also shared with the kitchen/dining room.
I said okay. It was in the budget.
We land in Granada and suddenly space became very apparent. We had just spent two weeks with expansive space and freedom, he in a bell tent at one end of the land, and I in a personal yurt at the opposite end of the land–definite autonomy.
We then ended up in an apartment which was quite charming, mostly because of the neighborhood (It was like the hipster/vintage/queer neighborhood in the super center, super cute part of Granada) but there was no doubt–it was small as heck.
Hey, I’m trying to be fluid out here. One of the biggest things I’ve personally been interested in learning on this expedition is different ways to live. This was another version. And as evidenced by the family in the next door apartment, you can make a really small space work with lots of people.
We really put it to the test when our friends from Amoraleza who are traveling through Spain with a camper to visit different communities, came to our apartment, and we’re so elated to take a real shower. We all made dinner together, no one fought, but we certainly were in each other’s space constantly and it was nothing. They seemed really grateful for all of the space that we had.
Then our friends left.
Then there was construction in the apartment above, tons of cigarette smoke from the family next door, and then there was a toxic smell that entered the apartment.
We fought about everything.
I was really trying to try on this roommate mentality and it was the first time I lost it with him on this trip–about the dishes. I yelled in a way that was reminiscent of the college days and also our dark ages back at home in Denver, “You wanna be grown, do your fucking dishes!”
Family dynamics were going cray cray. This space really felt like it was bringing out the worst in us, again. I hate that feeling, that dysfunctional family feeling. Eew, so don’t want to be that anymore.
I really wanted to be strong and push us to being okay living in a small space, I wanted to believe that we could do it. To embrace it.
But we kept fighting.
I finally woke up one morning after 5 nights, utterly sensitive to every smell and sound, I could feel the toxins permeating through my body and was like WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE.
Somehow, the universe provided. The Airbnb host let us out of our contract and there was another place we could move to on the same day–a POSH apartment!
As, we’ve traveled, I’ve been comparing neighborhoods to what I think they would feel like in Denver. So we moved from the South Broadwayish neighborhood to the Larimer Squareish neighborhood and all for the same amount of rent and with more space! Unbelievable!
Sadly, our arguments didn’t fully stop. We were butting heads about just how long this trip should last, whose intuition to trust more, doing chores, and maintaining a budget. These are some incredibly hard things to manage and I felt the singleness of my parenting.
One thing that I have learned is that my child and I do much better when we have a BUFFER, as evidenced again, when our new friend from Chile came to visit us and suddenly life was magic again. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out.
We are way more kind, way more clean, and in way better moods when there are others in our company. It’s an interesting conundrum this traveling with your son/traveling with your mom, being each other’s only true allies, and sharing space ALL OF THE TIME.
We don’t have the personal space and time we’re used to and we’re learning, sometimes roughly, what we need to have healthy boundaries, how to maintain the joy in life even when the same person is always, always there with or without the buffers.
But, thank God for the buffers, who are really just friends.
I am reminded by family and friends at home that this is it–this is the last moment before I let him go, so no matter what, no matter how hard it is at times, keep going, take everything in, and make it last as long as you can.
Thanks for reading!