No Such Thing as Too Many Friends

Living where we live in Galicia has quite literally cracked open our world. And we are not looking back.

When we moved from the US to Valencia, we contracted. We needed a rest. I closed nearly all of my social media accounts and so did Jeff. Yes, I kept this blog, but with the barrage of negativity in political and social discourse, seemingly everywhere, we took a break from the vitriol and much of the mean spiritedness circulating.

And then the pandemic hit. And we contracted even more. Our world became very small. But that is over now.

Since moving to Palas de Rei in Galicia, everything has changed. We meet new people every day. And we are back out in the world after a long slumber. It’s nice.

We have our Bulgarian Peregrino to thank for changing our minds about giving it another try. So now, Jeff is also back on the Camino groups on Facebook, and he’s opening up accounts for the blog and the future food truck on Pinterest, Instagram and Tik Tok. Suddenly, the world doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming as it did before. Broadening our circle. So we will be posting content to those, too.

Social media is supposed to connect us, not divide us. We will be focusing on that as our north star. And the upside of it all has already bourne fruit.

We spent last evening with an American Pilgrim walking the Camino. One who had seen some of Jeff’s answers to questions from Pilgrims on Facebook group, and she DM’d him for some advice. We all got to talking and after she landed in Spain last week we arranged to have dinner in Melide as she passed through.

What a fun evening. We haven’t seen many Americans in Spain the past two years. And while we love meeting people from other countries and other cultures, and have friends from all over the world, I had forgotten how different it is to have conversations with someone with shared experiences and the same cultural background. There is an unspoken shorthand of understanding that makes relating that much easier. Slang words that don’t require interpretation. A shared foundation.

And she brought us some presents. Jeff misses peppered beef jerky. While he is supposed to limit red meat, his eyes lit up! Let the rationing begin! I wanted some ibuprofen from Costco. The supply Caroline brought us should last us a few years.

And I even got a fan. If you’re from the American deep south, you know the value of a good fan. Just like we do in Spain. At Caroline’s suggestion, perhaps we will make up some branded ones for the food truck. A fan on a hot summer day would hit the spot.

Like so many, I collect dish towels as souvenirs when we travel. My clothes line in Valencia and Palas is hung with those from Italy, Iceland, Norway and many more. A load of dish towels on the line is a map for our neighbors to see where we’d been. Now we have one from Atlanta to add to them.

And we got some Good Luck 🍀 masks I’ll be carrying on my Camino. For, well, Good Luck. 🤞

We are so grateful for her kindness. With the new travel restrictions we likely won’t see many Americans coming to Spain. And I’m sure we kept her up past the Pilgrim bedtime over wine and gluten free pizza. But it was so nice to spend time talking with her, and hearing her stories. We have made a new friend. And, these days, you can’t have too many of those.

3 thoughts on “No Such Thing as Too Many Friends

  • So, so sweet. Speaking of ‘same language, same culture’, I was traveling for a few months in south American in 1985 and had a Farside comic taped in my book. Every time I looked at it I would start laughing. There were no works, just the comic, and it cracked me up each time. It was about a head hunter on a canoe in the Amazon. Kind of worldly. I showed it to a friend along the way from another country – and s/he didn’t get it. I thought that was so odd. Same with the next non-American traveler. I started a social experience, showing it to lots of non-American travelers. I was so surprised that Americans ‘got it’ immediately but not folks from other countries. It really identified that even if we speak the same language, the culture impacts our interpretation of things. And I realized the value for me to periodically have that opportunity to interact with someone of my culture just for the temporary ease of communication.

    Liked by 1 person

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