Saturday, May 30, 2009


It's too difficult to fathom what living in a foreign city will feel like until you get here. One thing I have already mastered is walking and taking the metro. I think I walk at least 15 miles a day here, I'll get back to you on how many kilometers that is. I walk... I walk some more.. I walk a little longer, take a small detour, ask for directions, hop on the metro and then I walk some more. Yes, I have realized the beauty of owning a good pair of sandals.
The most incredible thing I did today was go to the beach; the typical European beach after I went exploring the city by myself for a bit. I went for a swim for about 15 minutes and realized how beautiful a few moments can be. I was all alone, taking each stroke, tasting the strongest salt water and felt God pushing me along. Years ago I was fearful to even put my toe in the ocean and here I was swimming out into the Mediterranean Sea in Barcelona, Spain. I absolutely love it. I love the new experiences, the new faces I meet, the new places I see, the things I hear, the smells I smell; life is beautiful.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bienvenido a Espana

27 hours of being in 3 cars, 3 planes, 2 layovers, 1 customs check (no, not in Madrid, Frankfurt), having to reorganize my bags twice in the middle of the airport, buying a $59 Euro bag after a woman told me I was going to have to pay $250 for overweight baggage on Lufthansa, returning the bag after I go to a friendly looking man who tells me “No worries, you came from the USA;” I finally made it to this beautiful country and am currently sitting in this wonderful hotel, Hotel Museo del Arte, in Madrid.
An immediate reason why I love this country; the wine is cheaper than the water. I’m sold. I realize that I am a feather floating in this world. I was destined to meet wonderful people immediately upon getting here, I was destined to love this city and immediately start thinking in Spanish and pick up simple phrases such as, “Cuenta por favor y Me gustaria numero cuatro con un copa de blanco vino.” I kept pinching myself as I walked around this city seeing museums, Cathedrals, Pablo Picasso and Dali paintings, plaza centers, local markets and of course pigeons, thinking my life is surreal. How am I having a conversation with this person in this location on this day? How am I actually talking in Spanish in this city? Life is incredible and it makes me realize how much I love people. I love taking chances and putting yourself out there and loving people for exactly who they are, where they are in their walk in life, and embracing every moment with people.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cause I'm Leavin On a Jet Plane

The words aren’t flowing from my tongue because there are more than a million words to be found. Scattered thoughts that are drifting all around me. The biggest word to describe exactly what I feel is free. Free from everything. Free from the confines of people’s expectations, free from men, free from myself; free. Free to run and see the world. Free to discover, free to learn, to dream, to dance, to laugh, to yearn. Free.
It is with great excitement that I take a new step into a new chapter of my life. A new page is being written and I am the first to read it.
It is with great love and joy that I say good-bye to the people I love around me as I go off to a distant place and meet new people going through all walks of life.
It is with great anticipation that I go and step onto that 767 plane with just my books and journal on my lap.
It is with great excitement that I walk those sunny streets winding my way around a whole new land.
It is with great bravery that I completely step out of my comfort zone and look around at this new culture I will be immersed in.
It is with all of this that I leave you for now. Remember this my friends, this saying I hold dear to my heart, “With everything to lose, you are trapped inside this world. With Nothing to lose, the world is yours… -WES”

Friday, May 15, 2009

You are my Home

There is a moment when you finally realize that where you call home does not matter; It's what you call home. It's the people around me. It's my family. It's my friends. It's my friends that one day turned into family. It's my sweet memories. It's my struggles. It's my wisdom. It's my faith. It's my growth. All of it. I hold a photo album in my hand and look through all the faces of recent people who have floated into my life and touched my life in either a significant or some tiny way. I look at these faces and know that that is my home here on this earth. Not my street address on a letter. Not a physical house. Not an actual bed that is mine. It's the people that are my home. 

I sit here late at night and wonder about the future. Who will be a part of it? What part of the world will I be in? Who will be by my side? What kind of challenges will the world be wanting me to untangle? Who's lives will I touch? I sit here, in quiet little Barrington and look around at my room which is just screaming high school girl from the photos on the walls to the endless souveneirs on every surface there is. I sit here on my bed and wonder all of this. I'm trying to take this ordinary life I have and make it extraordinary and wander each day if I am doing that... 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Beginning

Cheers to this blog I have somehow been inspired to write. I promised myself years ago I never would write one; how cliched it seemed to me. Yet here I am, about to leave on an incredible 9 week journey abroad to Spain, and I was inspired to create this blog about my travel journeys. I don't know if anyone will venture to read this, and frankly I don't care. I'll be honest, my writing is odd, my brain is scattered, my spelling is horrendous, and my thoughts are crazy. As a warning, I won't apoogize for any of that because this is exactly who I am. So here it is. Kelly Dawes Smith's thoughts on the world; From My Travel Eyes to Your Soul... Enjoy.