Day #121: Entre el cor i el fons del mar

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Wednesday, 30 December 2009 at 13:30

Yesterday I upped sticks from this sleepy little village, and headed East, to the West Country. Due to my love for Cathedral Architecture it was kind of obvious that I'd have to head to Wells Cathedral, having already seen all of Exeter Cathedral earlier this year.

Leaving the light snowfall of Wales behind, the three amigos on this journey ended up in the dull drizzle of Bristol-and-Avon, passing by places with absurdly Olde England names, and villages spread so far apart they may as well have been a single detached house. After a brief stop-off in the Oldfield area of Bath, and lunching in that fine establishment Burger King, I decided it would be prudent to invest in an umbrella. Lo-and-behold, on moving on to Wells, the rain ceased.

Wells itself is so much more than Bath. It's worlds apart from the commercialised Bath Stone city on the Cotswolds, which bustles with life no matter what the weather, and seems very impersonal and tourism-oriented. As much as I love the Georgian architecture of Bath, I much prefer the semi-rural idyll of Wells, which, in spite of being a City, with its hotchpotch of architectural styles, from the early Georgian fronts of many of the shops on the High Street; to the 14th century row houses at Vicars' Close.

The jewel in the Crown, and the reason I went, is obviously Wells Cathedral, an imposing early Gothic building, with its blended architecture. I'm no expert, far from it, but until I saw the dates I was convinced it was one big late Romanesque building, as the pointed arches seem to round off; there seems to be a distinct lack of pomp and circumstance; and the overall feeling it gives off is one of a Cathedral on the verge of being Gothic. But, on actually taking the time to look at the dates, it's practically Gothic through and through, built in the Early English style, one which (being taught about Italian church architecture) I'm unfamiliar with. Still, it's beautiful, and, in my eyes, actually more wondrous than Exeter with its vaulted ceiling - the Inverse Arch and the Chapter House are more than enough to make this a diamond in the rough; and it keeps topping it with the astronomical clock, and the pristine nature of all its tombs and memorials.

All in all, it was a catharsis. I love wandering round being in awe of the architecture, and reading the tombs (even with my lack of Latin I can still guesstimate a lot based off Italian and Spanish knowledge). It makes me think how small and insignificant we are; it's a memento mori, a giant memorial to the fact that we will all die one day, and how we leave our mark is up to us; whether we will be remembered as a wooden cross in a courtyard, a traditionalist tombstone in a communal graveyard, or buried beneath the floor of one of the most beautiful things to come from religion.

Next time, however, I will know to take spare batteries for my camera so it doesn't cut out when I'm taking photos of the outer architecture, leaving me no way to take any photos of the inside. It really is something that sits deep in me as a love, dins el cor, and yet I can't fathom it, com el fons del mar.

#Day 116 - So, This Was Christmas?

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 25 December 2009 at 22:06

There's really not much worth documenting here: it was an 'adult' Christmas with few presents and a smidgen of money. The presents received were a pack of amaretti biscuits, for my coffee habit; two pairs of nicely lined gloves, for the cold weather; and some chocolates for my sugar cravings. Pretty sparse really, but, that's the recession for you.

Still, I'm not complaining. Roll on next year, I suppose, when it's Christmas in Italy...or, Christmas-on-return-from-Italy.

Over, and out.

Day #115: És nadal al meu cor

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Thursday, 24 December 2009 at 16:09

It's that time of the year again. It's officially almost Christmas. I think this is the one time of the year, as in the next two days, in which I'm generally quite festive. The other 362 days, I couldn't care less. So, for a bit of festive cheer, I've had a certain song on repeat.

The brilliant thing is, I actually appreciate the way the Spaniards, and particularly Catalans, approach this festive time of year. We have our Christmas tree and the odd nativity scene here and there. They have the caganer, and all the little things which are associated with the verb 'cagar' or 'to shit'. So, while we're celebrating with fairy lights and turkey, they're hunting for a shitting gnome (as that's the best way I can describe it) in a full-size model of Bethlehem! And then, to make things better, they take a hollow trunk filled with sweets, and beat it like a piñata in a game called "fer cagar el tío" or "making the log shit". Honestly, that sounds like more fun than pulling crackers!

The only thing that sounds like a bit of a bother is that the Spanish celebrate Christmas, but on top of that they also celebrate Epiphany as a sort of 'mini-Christmas'. So, while we've all taken down our decorations to avoid the bad luck of 12th night, they're putting out their shoes ready for the Reyes Magos to leave them presents and sweets. And then it all ends on a high-note of a month that counts as celebratory - from December 8th, when Catalans begin filling up their Tío, to January 6th when the Reyes arrive, it's one big fiesta. And how do we spend it? Buying crap we don't need, and listening to Coleen Nolan on the idiot box trying to sell us "rasberry...tart" from Iceland.

Can't we just have a nice Christmas, where we either celebrate the important days for us (24th, 25th, 26th); or, can we do it right, so we're not giving away the significance and importance (religious or otherwise) to the mass-market monopolies around the world. Yeesh.

And with that said, and a little lesson on Catalan Christmas, I bid you all a Bon Nadal.

Day #114: Pobl Y Gwyrdd

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Wednesday, 23 December 2009 at 16:03

I've never been one to understand fully the sentiments of the average Welsh Nationalist. Admittedly, I vote Plaid Cymru with all the fervour of a Welsh Nationalist, and I vote on lines of linguistic heritage, rather than ideological bullshit about an independent Wales, devolved from the Big English Westminster system. Still, I can't help but feel a pang of Nationalistic pride when I listen to Radio Luxembourg, now dubbed Race Horses.

I know very little about this group, save that they seem to be pretty big on S4C's Bandit programme, and they seem to be a little more eclectic than your average Welsh rock outfit (see Funeral for a Friend; Lost Prophets; The Poppies; etc. for comparison). And so, two days before Christmas I say: "You know what, as much as it's silly to be patriotic because it's only dumb luck that I was born Welsh instead of Argentine, I'm proud to come from a country with such a lovely language."

Nadolig llawen, bobl y byd!

Day #112: Al Seny, O A La Rauxa?

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 21 December 2009 at 14:48

It snowed last night, and you know what, for the first time in 20 years I haven't thought "Oh my! Snow! How happy I am!" My initial thought was, in fact, to tell all the people who are far too excited or stressed about the snow to move to another country and quit hogging my air with their festive cheer. Yes, I'm a scrooge, but, you know what, I could care less.

In more heartwarming news, I finished up my two album lists for the year. I should really do an 'album of the year' sort of malarky, but I've really not listened to enough new music this year to warrant it. Instead, I gave the accolades of "Album of the Decade" and "Underrated Album of the Decade" to Daft Punk's Discovery and Venetian Snares' Detrimentalist. Somehow, I've boiled down an entire decade of indie pop and 'emo' into French techno, and an American having an electronic seizure. And frankly, I don't care if it's not what the NME, Rolling Stone, Q, or Pitchfork had as their album of the decade; I feel I have captured the spirit of the noughties in the fact that it was a time of general happiness. As the Catalans would put it, it was a time of rauxa.

Continuing with the trend of the moan today, it seems like sanity is rushing out of the room very quickly in Britain, to be replaced with one heck of a white elephant in the corner. Basically, we've gone from having the good sense to know when everything is screwed beyond repair, to having to argue till we're blue in the face. What am I talking about? Well:

1. Eurostar has decided to cancel its services, whilst it works out how to improve them in order to stop breakdowns in the tunnels over this snowy, cold period. How do we react? We don't say "Oh, thank you Mr Eurotunnels." No. We queue in St Pancras in the hopes that, magically, someone will say "You know what, get on this non-existent train, and it'll all be fine". Moral of the story: Grow up, and get some common sense. If they say it's not's damned well not running!

2. Copenhagen basically devolved into an average political discussion on climate change. The Americans don't want to concede to China; China can make as many demands as it likes because it's unaffected by the Kyoto agreement (being a developing nation); countries like Tuvalu and the Maldives shouted to no avail; and in the end, our great idiot-in-chief and his second-in-command for this weekend jolly said "It was bureaucratic chaos!" In short, we lost the game of marbles and came back crying to mother.

Perhaps the better solution to climate change is for discussions to go into sub-discussions. Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, North Asia, Australasia, South America, Central America, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Northern Africa, and the Island Confederations. Then, when they all agree on 75% of the policy, they come together and make demands. Don't try to get 192 member states to 'discuss' when each wants a voice as big as China and America. Honestly...

And on that depressing note. I'm going to settle in for a week of drinking glasses of red wine, cider, and doing no work. Living a la rauxa, in a world that is slowly forgetting how to be al seny.

Day #81 - Coffee Coffee Coffee.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 20 November 2009 at 18:14

I decided it would be a good idea yesterday to buy some Columbian coffee in Tesco. I was wrong. It was possibly the worst idea I've had since coming to University. I drank two cups yesterday, and then two cups today. I then followed up my two cups of coffee today with a large soup-bowl of Cappuccino from Costa Coffee and a "solo Macchiato" which was probably the worst idea ever.

Now, why have I been drinking so much coffee? Is it because I have an essay due and I don't want to sleep, so I can get it done in a rush? Heck no. It's because I want to be more worldly in what I drink, coffee-wise. I mean, everyone has had their fair share of Nescafe Gold Blend, right? I feel like I need to branch out. I drink multiple flavours of tea, from the traditional English Breakfast (which despite my disdain for it, is far too common to avoid) to the more eccentric Chai or Lady Gray.

I started 'experimenting' with what coffees I like and don't like by ordering a Cafe Cortado in La Tasca one day. That I can admit to liking. Shots of Espresso, solo, without a main coffee, go down a treat if I feel I need perking up, but taste foul much like the Macchiato I ordered today. Cappuccinos are slowly working their way to being my 'favourite', though I have a soft spot for the Mocha and its variants. Some day, I'll stop drinking all this crap, and live off water I suppose.

Day #76 - On Dashboard Confessionals

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 16:38

It's all over. All over my social networking spaces, and all over my face. I'm not in the best of places right now. I'm really at a low point, but, I suppose that's what's to be expected when the girl you claimed to love thought that you were getting bored and decided to call it all off when you were really having such a lovely time. It's a bit of a blow, and that's an understatement.

I suppose I've done my five stages of grief, and now I'm onto my own five stages of recovery, which seems to entail "listening to Morrissey, Bright Eyes, and Dashboard Confessional", "playing The Mars Volta loudly on the bass", and "eating a lot of bread and paella". It's not the best way to recover, but, when you're trying to get back to 'being friends', with a glimmer of hope that your 'bargaining' stage doesn't backfire and have her hating you, it's all I can do.

I wish I could write "In happier news...", but, I honestly can't. Sure, I've worked; sure, I've got University still on the go; but, there's no happy news. It's just one big ball of "Well, that sucks". Who knows, maybe in a few more days I'll be back to my chipper self, or, maybe not. Maybe I'll be set-in-my-ways, and back to being the mopey old me who wasted so many opportunities as a teenager, but, now stuck in his twenties.

Suppose now's the time to walk out, click that Publish Now button, and move on? Or maybe, cling on to the hope that she'll still be there in a few years, when there's no distance between us, and that she'll still have some vague attraction to me...

Day #61 - On Karmic Koalas, Polaroid Pictures, and 42.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 15:53

I haven't actually gotten the hang of this 'regular blogging' thing, even after years of failed attempts. I suppose it's because I never have anything to talk about. So, over a month after 42 days of not posting a thing about my dull little life, I've finally got some things to talk about: Life, the Universe, and Everything!

Let's start out right here, right now. I've upgraded from Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope to Karmic Koala, and, despite there being a few kinks that need to be ironed out at my end of the deal, there are very few qualms I have with this system. In fact, I like it so much, I thought I'd go and sit in on the new Apple Store (read: Anti-Christ) free workshop for Snow Leopard with a nice Ubuntu teeshirt on, raising my hand every so often to say "So, why is it that you're putting out Microsoft Office for Mac when you could just run the Mac version of Open Office? Why put money into the pockets of a rival, you jackasses."...followed by a forceful ejection via the glass front. In short: "Ubuntu - YES; Micro-Apple-Soft - NO!"

Moving on from that nerd fiasco to yet another: eBay! I have become addicted. Currently, I'm watching two Ukuleles and a classical guitar. Within 10 minutes of signing up, I had become the proud owner of a 2004 Polaroid ONE600, which, as good as it seemed at the time, is now a bit of a burden as Polaroid have stopped making instant getting a hold of a pack of Polaroid 600/779 film is like searching for hay in a stack of needles! Still, at least I have the equipment, which can be sold as an antique in about...oh...100 years?

Regarding the rest of my short-lived life in Cardiff so far, not much interesting has happened. I've been to Exeter to visit my lovely girlfriend, and I'll be going back down tomorrow, to spend the week there, under her feet, trying to do my best to blend into the wallpaper and not get in her way while she's stressing over University. I've improved slightly at Italian, vastly at Catalan, and actually regressed with my Spanish: all in all, not-so-good, Al... But, I suppose I have the whole year to get back up to top form before going off to Spain and Italy for a year, hopefully.

In other news, it's Halloween, and I'm going to be a Hallowiener and stay cooped up indoors because I honestly don't think I can be bothered with the effort so soon before going away for a week. Honestly, I think I must be less of a student and more of a sloth.

Day #39 - On The Higher Path

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 9 October 2009 at 14:32

Higher Education. I suppose that's the best name they could come up with for 'University'. It really doesn't feel like education. Sure, I've learnt a few new phrases in other languages, but I've not exactly learnt a lot. I've just learnt that I am a procrastinating fool.

Day #19 - On Tapas and Headcolds.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Saturday, 19 September 2009 at 14:08

It's a long long way to Tipperary, and it's even longer when you've got yourself a nice headcold for company. I'm currently supping on Strepsils to ease the throat pain, drinking Chai to soothe my head and warm me up, and eating bananas so I don't irritate my already painful throat. It's a lovely way to waltz into your 20th year, it really is.

On the plus side, I've now got a book that can teach me how to cook all manners of Tapas (if I ever get the money to do so); I've got a need to play my bass and cope with the complexities of funk over the next few weeks; There's only one more week of Freshers' Fortnight left, which means it's almost time to start learning, thank God!

But the biggest plus is hooking up with the prettiest girl I know. It's one of those moments where your heart turns to jelly, and your legs go along for the ride. She's down on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to get rid of this cold just for the hugs it may afford me. After that, I've got to make sure I've got roughly £35 a month to get on the train to Exeter to see her at least once (over Christmas and Easter it'll be soooo much easier). It'll be lovely.

I'm also a little disjointed today, because I lack the mental faculties of a sober person - I blame the Strepsils personally...but who knows what it is. Either way, I don't like it - and I've yet to do any darned work! I need to start re-learning my Italian and Spanish before I get thrown in at the deep end - piedi in primo, as it were. I think a lame, early night is in order. No more boozing until next month.

Day #17 - A Day In Retrospect

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Thursday, 17 September 2009 at 14:43

It's been 3 whole days (and 14 hours of this one) since I turned 20. All I've done since then is drink alcohol at least once a day. My liver actually screamed STOPPPPP! last night, as if it would make a massive difference to the damage I already predict having caused. Still, it can't be as bad as the damage I just caused my arteries by having several rashers of bacon in two bacon sandwiches for lunch - in short, it was a cholesterol-fuelled, heart-attack-inducing pair of sandwiches. It really was.

Anyhow, my days have been eventful thus far. I had a good night out with 'the guys' last night, and ended up showing them the delights of Clwb Ifor Bach. I salsa'd to N.E.R.D. and multiple other songs that nobody should salsa to. I drank til I could drink no more. And I kissed a pretty girl, and then woke up and told the internet about it because I'm an idiot who can't function well in the early hours (well...well enough to be able to click a button that says 'Post as Anonymous').

Yesterday was also a day of firsts - my first I.D. check in the cinema at 2pm to see an 18 film. I was told I have a babyface. I did not like that woman. I also bought my first lighter, just for the fuck of it, and to be able to light candles and such. And it was my first night of early-morning Facebook-while-drunk since last year! I am back on track. Shame, I was doing so well. Really, I was.

Now my mind is elsewhere. I should be cutting down on my to-do list - I have to get a job; work out how to get my printer to work with Ubuntu; and do a review of Monkeydust for my good pal Luke. I should also check my emails daily. I have not done so in a while, and found some very important society/study related emails awaiting me. It means I now have stuff to look forward to academically. Now it's just looking for the social side of things.

DAY #14 - On Growing Up

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 14 September 2009 at 09:58

I turned 20 today. It's not like it's a brilliant thing; I mean, wow, it's a big round number (again) but it's nothing amazingly special. I've had a lame night's sleep in a lonely double bed; I've aged slightly; I have to phone utility companies to change payee names; I have a lot to do and not enough partying to be doing.

There's really nothing else to add to this blog, because it's 10am, and I've not done much - I've moved into the new 'student house' in Cathays, and everything is sorted; now it's just sticking to my budget, finding a job, and passing the 2nd Year with 'flying colours'. go back to sleep...or maybe shower and go out and buy some real food so I'm not stuck eating Lamb and Barley Hotpot for the next meal of the day.

Day #11 - On Retrospection

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 11 September 2009 at 11:13

I've not really been online much in the last week, really. I've been to Cardiff for no reason other than to drive around; twice. It's not the best way to spend a day, but, if you can insert moments of hilarity, like shouting down a phone asking someone to read you Cosmo's sex tips louder, whilst in a traffic really lightens up quite a dull summer.

Wednesday was the highlight of the week, though. I spent it down in my house in Cardiff, learning how to Salsa. It was four hours of no-holds-barred intense salsa, taking me from the basic step, through cross-body leads, through twists, flicks, crucifixes, and even that sexy drop you always see women do in movies. And although I wouldn't say "I mastered it", I managed to "get it down" without any major hurdles to jump over.
All of this was followed by watching Dorian Gray in Cineworld with a bottle of Corona; and a ride home that involved me shouting "We're all going to die!" a lot. I think it may have either added to the atmosphere, or scared everyone on board. Luckily, I wasn't driving, otherwise we may have actually died.

In more recent news, it's only two more days before I finally move back permanently. I was going to move back tomorrow, but, then I figured I'd be bored, doing nothing in the house at all. So, it's easier to move in on Sunday, and make everything seem...homely through the day, and it also means I only have to buy £10-worth of food or less to last me til Tuesday when it's pay day (from work I did last month). Excitement doesn't come into it - my main worry is: "I'm going to be stuck in the sleeping pattern of 'bed at 1am, awake at 11am". I really need to break out of that one. And fast. But, until then, I'll just enjoy my sleep.

Day #8 - On Extensive Failures, and the Victories of Others

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Tuesday, 8 September 2009 at 13:21

It's not been a promising weekend; nor a promising start to the month. The job I applied for, well, it didn't get past the interview stage. So, we're back to the drawing board (and more than likely to the little corner of the drawing board that doesn't have scribbled out failures written all over it). In other failure news - I've miscalculated a few things with the other blog, so, for once my music blog will be 'out-of-sync' with how it should be written.

I wanted to write up the new (and dare-I-say "amazing") Rodrigo y Gabriela album for tomorrow's installment, but, I'm planning on heading out, learning a bit of Salsa, and going to see the new Dorian Gray flick. Plans changed to "Let's review Dorian Gray", knowing I'd probably get an hour before 'total blackout' (still living at home for another week, meaning periodic internet shutoffs; it's like living in the Cold War). Anyhow, I miscalculated, and the film is showing later than I wanted it to be - so, it looks like Wednesday now goes up Thursday, or, I review Rodrigo y Gabriela and post it tonight...either way, we're out of sync, people! Out of sync! (Though, we still have kitchen variety syncs).

On the happier side of the coin, there are extensive victories going on everywhere: my best friend has nabbed himself a job in Bristol, alongside his massive repertoire as a gonzo journalist; the girl I've been teaching Italian has progressed immensely, and to return the favour is teaching me what she knows of Salsa - the master doth become the student and all that; and the greatest victory of all this week: Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak has posted a comic that made my eyes water when I read it. Am I in love? I think so.

It's still another week before I get paid; still another week before I have permanent 24-hour internet; and still another week before I am permanently moved out of my house and into the swanky, new abode in Cardiff for the start of the new season of academia. The only thing I dread is the bills. And the fact that I'll be paying for electricity I'm not using, by spending my entire day in the library ensconced in one of my languages, or some tome that should expand my worldliness. (In fact...I need a list of all the books I *need* to read this year, regardless of their subject matter).

All in all...this could be a very productive year, despite lacking permanent income.

Day #3 - On Interview Technique

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Thursday, 3 September 2009 at 19:03

It's been one of those long days, and its been made even longer by the presence of a job interview. It's one of those things I always feel infinitely confident about beforehand, and surprisingly nervous about afterwards. I'd love to see myself from the other side of the table, from the side that sees my face turn that beet-red colour, and the side that watches me stammer through my answers.

Either way, I end up coming out sweatier than when I went in, wondering what in the hell I did to deserve such failure. And then I mellow out, and think "Oh well, it can't be *that* bad, can it?"

Right now, I've got at least 18 hours before I know the results of my interview, but I'm really hoping I get the job. It's 2 to 3 shifts of 5 hours each, per week, in the evenings. So, it's perfect for me; it stops me drinking and using the internet! It stops me procrastinating in the day too, because I'll have less time to do it at night!

So now, without actually knowing if I've succeeded or failed miserably, I'm going to head out to the pub and drink Sam Adams by the bottle, or maybe one of those little fruity wines they do. Who knows. Either way, I want to fall asleep tonight.

Day #2 - On Application Forms.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Wednesday, 2 September 2009 at 20:39

I woke up from the best twelve hours of sleep in existence - a twelve hours of sleep where I didn't actually stir once - it was a nice, consistent, indulgent sleep that involved plenty of dreaming and plenty of feeling groggy afterwards. It's just the sort of thing I needed.

But, sleeping late meant I almost missed the email from Cardiff Uni's JobShop to tell me that they're hiring Box Office staff. Lucky for me, I was feeling perky today, and, with my reviews all written up for this week, I had no excuses, no procrastination to do, in order to escape the fact that I would have to sit and fill out a form. And fill it out I did.

Then, the nerves set in. It's a job application, right? What do I need to worry. I'll get a phonecall saying "Sure, come for an interview", or I'll get nothing back (the latter being the predominant case in my life). Either way, I sat in my room with the landline phone, my hotmail account and CardiffMail account open, and my mobile set to 'Outdoor'. I really was in a hopeful mood. I mean, I actually went out in the rain to sort out all the stuff I'm taking back to Cardiff, just to get five minutes away from all this 'pressure'.

And then, the phone rang. It's almost a cliche to write it that way. In no time, I was signed up for a 3pm interview, and my life actually started to look a little bit better. All that was needed was a dose of "confidence but not cockiness" for tomorrow, and I'd be all prepped. After that, what more could I do than pick up my bass and 'celebrate' by loudly thrashing about to British Sea Power - you'd swear I'd been hired already. (After a summer of "No thankyou" and no replies from all sorts of companies, one job interview is really a 'big thing').

Let's have some crossed fingers! And hope that drinking tea and watching The Wire: Season Five won't put me into a state of insomnia.

Day #1 - On Blogs.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Tuesday, 1 September 2009 at 11:22

I decided, after a lot of summer boredom, that I would create a student blog. You know, one of those journal-type things that lots of students keep to document their way through 'College' or University. I totally didn't bother in my first year, but, then again I was trying to keep my head above water. Now I have a plan of attack for the year, I feel I can fit in time to manage a journal-blog and my music blog's not-so-hectic "three days a week" schedule.

This blog all started as one of those crazy ideas to set up two blogs on one Blogger account. I'd had the Retrospective Review since last August, but, barely used it. I spent the weekend cleaning it out and sprucing it up; and then created this baby, my Student Journal, codenamed VENT.

Now, why would I call it VENT? VENT sounds like an airduct, or an Agony Aunt column... "What a silly name for a blog!" I hear you cry! However, it couldn't be more perfect in my eyes.

The more astute amongst you will have noticed the URL - viajes-en-nuevos-territorios - which, translates to Journeys into New Territories. Now, the brilliant thing about this is: I study Spanish! So, one connection point for me! But, I also study Catalan, and the URL in Catalan would be viatges-en-nous-territoris. Are we noticing a pattern? It spells VENT, which, when lower-cased, and made into a verb "to vent", is a nice way of saying "to let of steam"...which is what this is for.
(It's a shame that in Italian the URL is viaggi-in-nuovi-territori, but, on the plus side that spells VINT, which is Catalan for twenty...which is the year of my life which this blog will cover! I'm just too sharp for my own good...)

That's basically it. I'm hoping this one will last me well into my twenties, so I may document what I've done and where I've been...though that really assumes that I will have constant internet access wherever I am. And that I will update on a regular basis. Which, as ashamed as I am to say it, rarely ever happens with me.

Still. The project has only just begun, and I don't have anything to vent about just yet. Here's hoping for an interesting year.