It’s a question everyone asks themselves upon graduating university, and one I’ve pushed away – until now. After an epic summer of bouncing around the Basque Country from one festival to the next, I find myself in Barcelona, waking up to a semi-sober reality. Or maybe I’m caught in a riptide between three realities:
Neverland: The state of “I will never grow up, I refuse to grow up, and will do anything in my power to delay adulthood forever.” This may include prolonging university studies, overstaying your welcome on mom and dad’s couch or constant partying in the hopes of keeping the “real world” at bay. Like the Lost Boys and Wendy, most inhabitants of Neverland spend most of the day in pyjamas.
Wanderland: The state of constant travel that cheaper flights, technology, and a more globalised world have afforded our generation. To answer the dreaded “so what are you doing with your life” question, “I’m travelling” has become a socially acceptable, maybe even respectable, response. I’m exploring the world, broadening my cultural horizons, having the time of my life. Please let me live peacefully in Wanderland forever with my backpack, trusty sneakers, and bikini.
The “Real World:” A faraway land of steady income, social security and credit ratings. People wear blazers, suits, sensible shoes and ties. I’m told in its depths lies something called “settling down.”
What to do? In a perfect world, fuel the childlike spirit of Neverland by staying in Wanderland, but dipping just a toe into the Real World for financial security. Easier said than done, I know. But that’s not going to stop me from trying. I’m determined to stay in this crazy, carnival of a city that I’m fast falling for.
Barcelona, let’s begin.