Dancing To Your Own Tune/Tango
“Uno, dos, tres, POP! Uno, dos, tres, POP!”
I giggled as I caught myself trying with much intensity to pass as anything other than an amateur. My patient dance partner - a Chilean military officer, who in no way had forgotten how to use his hips - almost convincingly praised me,
“You’re a natural, beautiful!”.
I didn’t care that he was lying. He was the latin fantasy that North American girls presume only really exist in Dirty Dancing movies. He could lie to me all he wanted.
Our friends came and dragged us off the dance floor and over to the bar for yet another round of celebratory drinks. They congratulated me on my courageous attempt at the bachata, with a latin boy none the less. I laughed. They cheered. We drank. It was all joy.
Thinking back on those moments, it’s hard to believe the friends I’m referring to were mere strangers just a few days prior. The kind of laughter we shared was the kind you can only share with those you’re most comfortable; with those who really understand you. And I think we did. Each of us seemed to recognize something in each other that made us (if only for a week or so) a sort of family. Soliders, students, husbands, teachers - we all arrived in Madrid with our own tale that led us there. Perhaps that itself was partly responsible for the bonds we forged. In each other was not only a shared desire for new adventures, but an adventure within ourselves to share. And often, discovering someone else is just as remarkable as discovering somewhere else.
Of course, this all took place in Madrid. It all makes perfect sense now. Known as one of the most vibrant and social cities in all of Europe, Madrid undoubtably delivers on it’s promise to be one big, happy party. It really seems like just around every corner there's another wonderful moment to waiting to capture you. And the nightlife is everything they said it would be. This is a place where you’ll find yourself hunting down a greasy, carby fix at 5:30 in the morning -on a Tuesday, no less. And don’t even think about feeling guilty. I guarantee you’ll have worked off a slice of pizza or two. At least if you find yourself at the whims of an eager, Chilean dance partner...
In between all the pizza and salsa dancing, there are a myriad of other indulgences to share in with your new found friends. Tapas and sangria might as well be a quarter pounder and a can of PBR when on your own. Shopping is always more fun with someone at your side to tell you how fabulous (or not so fabulous) you look. A great work of art is sometimes all the more meaningful with someone to point out it's flaws. And, just in case you need a little time out, theres always the blessed afternoon siesta.
Traveling solo, I’d be lying if I said there weren't moments when your only wish is for someone at your side; someone to share it all with. Don’t mistake me - going it alone is one of the best decisions you could ever make for yourself. Truly. (Find out why I’m so convinced by reading my latest guest post on GoEuro’s blog! ). But one of the things that makes solo travel so special, is the push and opportunity it gives to connect with new and wonderful people from all around the globe. And sometimes finding your fellow wanderers allows you to wander a little closer to yourself.
Flying solo, you'll quickly find the utter joy in dancing to your own tune; your own tango (if you'll permit me). Being alone will no longer be a sentence to being lonely. Solitude will soon become a dear and trusted friend. But, in the those moments of longing for something - for someone - other than yourself, fear not. Because, if you're willing to let the music move you, there will be no shortage of people to enjoy your dance with. And what a dance it is. x
Click the photo below for a few more snaps from stunning España!