There are no guarantees in life. Thank God – that’s what keeps life exciting. We just finished our 16th Candelaria Design Tour, this time Spain, and frankly our best tour ever, and what was so reinforced in me was the belief that there truly are no guarantees. A year ago, the love of my life, Isabel, was diagnosed with breast cancer that later metastasized to her brain. We were on our Spain Tour last year at this same time, and the experience this time from last was so different yet so similar and for different reasons.
In both cases, we celebrated life and the fact we are even able to do tours and trips like this. We celebrated the time we have together and the chance to share the experience with our travelers. This trip my travelers understood this and embraced this. We all knew how special the time together was at each and every moment. They got it. I love how we are all still texting on our group texts a whole week later. You become a family on these tours – a real shared experience that no one else has – it is an experience to be cherished and it forms a bond that is hard to describe. That is what I love most about all 16 tours we have now been fortunate to orchestrate and be a part of.
Spain was marvelous and magical. From the beaches, tapas and pintxos of San Sebastián, to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Madrid, and finally the Moorish mystery and delight of Sevilla, we experienced a wide gamut of what Spain is all about yet we know from my six past visits to this country, there is so much more. Frankly, I love Spain and I love it more and more each time I come. The food, the people, the culture, the architecture….it grows on you and it pulls you in like a soft blanket – you pull it over you and you slip into this beautiful dream you never want to leave.
Travel refills my soul – it refills my creative tank. From architecture to cooking to simply how to live and enjoy every detail of every day. You realize how easy it is to fatigue into your every day experience that you can virtually do on automatic pilot and how many of us do just that. You get up, you see your same house, you get in your same car, you drive the same route to work, you work at the same job with the same people, you come home to your same house and go to bed in your same bed. Yes there is a comfort to all of that and I fully understand there is “no place like home”. But it is so awakening to step off this truly zombie repetitive route of life and wake up each day not knowing what is in store and what awaits you in terms of sights, smells, sounds and tastes. Your senses and mind are truly aroused from their numbed daily existence.
So my takeaway as with all trips and journeys is to make sure every day becomes more of an adventure. Anyone that knows me, especially, my wife, Isabel, and my Assistant, Stacey, know I live and breath this way of thinking and living. No two days are every the same.. Every project is different, there are endless new recipes to prepare and meals to share with new and different people, new paintings to work on, new places to share, new ways and moments to spend with the people I love. Travel keeps me cognizant of how life needs to be an awakening experience and not a repetition rewind of one chosen recording that just happens to be safe and comfortable.
Yes, more travels to come, more architecture and details to absorb, more delicious meals to experience and recipes to learn and later share, and most importantly, more ways to simply live and enjoy life and love each moment and each person along what is my unique and adventurous journey.