I’m on a multi-week vacation in Spain, and I wanted to post my report on Barcelona.
As a Miami native, I am accustomed to crossing paths with Spanish-speakers striving to escape oppressive regimes. In Barcelona, I am reminded that people’s desperation to live in peace is a global phenomenon too.
Barcelona is a melting pot. You’ll notice your taxi driver speaks Spanish with a Cuban accent. Your Amazon package is delivered by a husband and father who gathered his family and fled Venezuela. Your computer problems might be solved by the Colombian IT specialist and family man who saw early signs of a hyperinflating peso (only to be promptly locked down for two years in Spain). People from all over the world seek a new beginning in Barcelona because it offers the opportunities of a major city, but feels less intense than a place like Madrid.
This city also stands as a reminder that the desire to be left the hell alone transcends not just space, but also time.
Barcelona has a lot of hills and stairs, and if you climb to the top of Montjuic, you can see the Castle of Montjuic. Since the 17th century, this castle has served as a fortress against coastal invaders, but it has also been captured by enemies of Catalonia who turned the castle’s cannons towards the city.
While seeing relics from the formation of western civilization is interesting, on this trip I’m having trouble giving a crap. We are living in 2022 through the collapse of western civilization, and centuries-old conflicts seem very far away indeed.
So what is the lesson for you? Be ready. History tells us that whatever peace you might currently enjoy is probably temporary, and current events are speeding us towards something else. Achieve a baseline of health (order of priorities: sleep, sun, nutrition, exercise) so that you’re prepared for whatever comes next in our own timeline. If you’re going to be part of history, at least go through it in the best physical condition possible.