I’ve always been a bit of a reveller. In fun, games, anything that requires a stage and spotlight, parties, gatherings centred on food – I revel in it all.
For the past four months, I have been revelling in travel.
Now, revelling in travel, just like revelling in a party, may bring to mind stereotypes we are sold.
The drunken dancer surrounded by disco lights: Party Revel.
A beach in Thailand, huge smiles and feet in sand: Travel Revel.
But as we all know, actually revelling in something looks different for each and every person.
If I asked what’s the perfect idea of a party for you, I’m sure I’d get a variety of answers – pub, bar, at home, small gathering, large gathering, dancing, talking, drinking, sipping, you get the idea.
And, you yourself might answer differently today than you would tomorrow, or two weeks from now.
Because every day we wake up different.
I know that myself.
Yesterday I woke up and felt congested and blah. Today, I woke up congested and more huzzah.
Let’s not get into why that happens – I have a theory it has to do with a combination of sleep, the weather, the last thing I thought about the night before, and whether it’s Monday or any other of the day of the week.
For whatever reason, the way I revel in something changes just as often.
Today, being a travel revel looks like conversing with the Spanish house cleaner about her grande belly and her impending entrance into motherhood.
It’s all broken Spanish and charades, but I love talking to Maralina. She’s a doll; a Romanian doll that has lived in Spain for the past 20 years and had difficulty getting pregnant.
And, she’s off work in March, for her baby’s arrival April 12.
Did she tell me any of that in English? No.
See *points to self* travel revel.
Yesterday being a travel revel meant more about being reflective and catching up with a friend over FaceTime in Australia.
Other days it means eating a new meal that tests my assumptions about what looks good and what actually tastes good. I smelt Javier’s potato and spinach soup before I saw it and, boy, did it smell good. The fact that it reminded me of my stomach virus a few days ago nearly stopped me from eating it, but it takes a lot more than that to keep food from me. Travel revel.
Travel revel sometimes looks just like the magazines, books, TV ads and Instagram feeds tell us it should: picturesque landscapes with me twirling around in awe, wide-eyed and wide-mouthed with wonder.
Other days it’s more I don’t care what’s around me, just get me a cheese croquette or six. Stat.
Mondays actually look good as a travel revel. Well, I guess the correct word is indistinct.
Because when I’m revelling in travel, I’m also asking ‘Is today Wednesday or Sunday?’
My favourite and most revellious travel times are when I’m meeting new people, or new friends and laughing about paper-thin ham and cooing over Scottish cream.
It really is food and friends. In every way, shape, and form that I exist as a revel.
On the days I don’t have those at my disposable, I revel in books, podcasts, long walks along unfamiliar streets, desperate sprints to catch a train, a spot of sun on the sidewalk, unrelenting rain.
I revel in the freedom and sometimes I revel in having a structure to my day.
I revel in beating Sara at Monopoly or Cluedo, and revel in the times when she beats me.
I revel in hoisting Sergio over my shoulder and making him laugh, and revel less when he hits me with sticks and laughs.
I revel in yoga with one eye opened to watch Marisa because I can’t understand her Spanish instructions and revel even more when she chooses an English song to end the class specially for me.
I revel in Javier using a word correctly that he’s had trouble with and revel in shaking my head when I confuse fregar and fuera yet again.
I revel in our nightly ritual of saying sleep well to each other – me in Spanish and them in English.
I revel really hard when the kids nail the English sentences or words we have been learning.
I revel in imagining my little Spanish chicos visiting me in Australia one day and being able to talk about these days under the banner “Remember when…”
Some days I feel like a real revel, and other days it’s almost imperceptible.
But when you are in another country, you can’t help but revel in a daily basis.
You revel in going to bed when every you know is waking up.
You revel in looking at a map and thinking that’s where I am right now. Whoa!
You revel even if the only difference between a travel Tuesday and a normal one is that you spoke and listened to Spanish all day.
You revel even when you get lost and feel like shit.
You revel in it all.
Because to revel is not only a verb that means to enjoy oneself in a lively and noisy way, it also means to gain great pleasure from (a situation).
Current mood: revelling.