I have spent the last three weeks in Barcelona, Valencia and Malta and wanted to share some of my Instagram images and captions.
One of the best parts of travelling alone is that you have the capacity to stand and experience the depth of everything before deciding to move on. You get to absorb and sink into the entirety of your own thoughts & surroundings as history merges with the present and the two realities coalesce. You get to marvel at the intricacies of sculptures, feel and comprehend the magnificence that every space capacitates. You get to be alive in a different reality, become lost in a backdrop that your mind could never envision. You don't have to pertain to an identity, in fact you don't have to be anything. Being alone in an unknown country restores the inquisitiveness that helped us navigate our childhood. It revives curiosity and forces you to abandon the things that you know. Sure, you could do it all with someone else, but sometimes the things that you do alone are the most memorable, remarkable, meaningful.
God brings misery, and then the glory.
Places like Slovakia or Malta have never been on my 'to-visit' list. In fact, I've known almost nothing about them until after booking my flights. Sometimes having preconceived ideas about a place can create expectations and skew experiences. I like to observe and deduce my own understanding so I can at least be solely accountable for my opinions.
Arriving in Malta was very surreal. I immediately noticed their use of English signage and the vibrant red telephone boxes that seem to be almost non-existent in England. They were also driving on the left side of the road and even shared intricacies such as our traffic light buttons. I then came across a statue of Queen Victoria and learned that English is their official language (alongside Maltese). I have since been reading profusely about British history and the way that it has impacted Maltese culture. This is why travelling is integral to our survival. It teaches and shows us things that we would have otherwise remained oblivious to.
This church was bombed during World War 2 but did not explode. The bomb merely fell through the roof without injuring anyone. It's pretty spectacular.
This free-standing stone structure dates back to between 3600 and 2500 BC. It is one of the oldest in the world, pre-dating Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Allow that to sink in.
Everything in my life has led up to this moment, to my soles on this island finally recognising the grandiose nature of the body that they belong to. 'What the heart loves, there the legs will go' is a Maltese proverb that I heard today. Perhaps I stand here on earth, not wanting to jump because the heart will always orchestrate my limbs into submission.
Life tip: don't go into Roman catacombs alone, especially after they've just opened and there is nobody else down there. When you get lost and can't locate the exit, you're going to be terrified.
Having been raised in a Muslim household, the concept of death was something that I was exposed to from a very young age. It was constantly emphasised that my actions were being recorded and would inevitably determine my disposition in the afterlife. I remember gasping for breath the first time that my mosque teacher detailed the atrocities of the Hellfire, the way that my entire body began to satiate itself as my blood suddenly turned into flames. This moment marked the beginning of my anxiety. My naive attempt to self-soothe was through not perceiving death as something to be afraid of, inevitably manifesting into a form of escapism. I think about death more than the average person, perhaps because it was indoctrinated into my veins and is therefore something that I am acutely aware of in every waking moment.