Back from Spain...

I am writing this blog as I am in the air on the way back from Spain (but obviously, this entry isn't published on the blog until a little bit later). Anyway, I should take a little bit of time to let all you awesome readers know about my trip.

Spain is a very beautiful country. It is definitely a country that you have to experience with your own eyes. Let me just say it's definitely as great as any of the pictures I have seen in books. There are a lot of beautiful landscapes as you drive on the mountains and countryside, that you can just do absolutely nothing but appreciate. In fact, I probably must have gotten camera happy by taking tons of pictures just while riding in the car (a bunch of which I plan on posting on my
Facebook page, eventually). You wouldn't be able to tell how beautiful Spain it by flying over it (unlike my local home city of Washington, DC), but driving around it is an experience within itself (as I heard is true with the most of Europe, which hopefully I hope to explore sometime).

The reason I was in Spain though was to visit my uncle and his wife, whom I haven't seen since 2002 when he visited DC. He is the only one out of the 4 other siblings that grew up with my mom back when my grandmother died way back in their childhood, so he was really close to my mom. I went with my mother, my two brothers, my sister-in-law, and my niece and nephew. Of course, it was the first time he saw my brother's kids, so that was a treat for him. But, it was also such a treat for us, as we haven't seen him in more than 7 years, and he showed us around Spain.

We landed in Barcelona, but we stayed at a town called Vinaros (which is a few miles off Valencia, aka "Orange Country"). The hotel my brothers, sister-and-law, and I stayed in was more of a Hostel (Hostal Tereuel) and it was very nice, because it was family owned with a very nice family atmosphere. They treated us really well.

We were pretty much around the Eastern part of Spain during our whole trip, so we were pretty much right beside the Mediterranean the whole time. We spent a lot of time in the beach, where believe it or not, the water is actually blue (as opposed to brownish green here in most of Northeast/Mid-Atlantic US). We visited towns like PeƱiscola (there is a tild on top of the n if you didn't notice), Morella, and my favorite, Granada, where we visited the Alhambra and the Generalife garden (which was very beautiful). I also somewhat re-learned the Spanish language while there too.

It was also great spending time with my family. It's not often that my mom gets a vacation, and she definitely deserves this one, considering how hard she works. And my other relatives and the kids are definitely characters upon themselves. And though I kind of have sort of a "love-hate" relationship with all of my family (as you may know from reading
"It All Starts With You"), I still love 'em and definitely cherish the time with them, even when they figuratively drive me nuts (at one point of the trip, I got pretty annoyed with one of my brothers that I kinda told him off for being proud of being a jerk, but cooler heads prevailed and everything was good).

Of course, I had trouble with using my computer. Though I did have free wi-fi, I couldn't charge my computer because I didn't have a grounded converter (which I didn't get until today when we got back to Barcelona to fly back), but it was all for the better. I was on vacation on pretty much anything (I didn't bring my pushup bars, and didn't do more than 600 pushups/day while there). I will have a lot of e-mail to attend to, and a lot of stuff to do to get back. Since I had a good amount of Euro to left spend before flying back, I did spend a lot of it on Toblerone, and stuff from the airport. It's all good though.

Also, I do want to say, that I had done some productive reading, getting to read two books. "Guerilla Negotiation" by Conrad Levinson et.al and "Covert Persuasion" by Kevin Hogan. Both recommended reads, and both taught me a lot of stuff (as well as reminded me of some old ones). Both books also had a unique way of telling you some of the same things about knowing and reading the behavior of others. (May do a review for one or both books if I'm up to it).

But, now that vacation is over, definitely have to focus on the next few months to end the year, and the next months after to begin the year. These next 5-10 months are so crucial to my speaking career, that it will definitely tell me where I will be in the next 5-10 years, both in my career, and as a person. Hell, these next few months are so crucial, that I'm not doing my annual fantasy football tradition this year. I have a few conferences to expose myself, a lot of opportunities to network, and start booking several talks and close on product, all before the end of the year. And what comes after that, is even more crucial. Time to prove my doubters wrong, and continue do something that I always whole heartedly believe in... choose and shape your own destiny!

If being in Spain has continued to remind me of something, is to never take anything for granted, whether it be your family, time, time with family, and time with yourself to enjoy the world. Not to mention, it's good once in a while to clear your head and re-charge, from whatever you're doing. That way, you can get back to focus on what you need and have to do.

So, if you have a chance, I definitely recommend visiting Spain. It's very beautiful. Time to make focus, and make life even more beautiful!



(After getting back, the airline lost some of our luggage. But, at least we got home okay. BTW, this is the only sentence I didn't write in the plane).

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