Where and when does this “real world” begin?

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.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Alex!
    I saw all your pictures, it seemed like a great summer.
    I like what you wrote, It happened to me too when I graduated. I agree with your idea of trying to live combining this lifestyles at the same time, although sometimes is almost impossible. The important thing is to create a balance in your life that makes you happy with your personal and professional life. This balance is also fundamental with your loved ones. Believe when I say that the most important thing in your life is the people that surrounds you and loves you. Never forget your biological family, even when you don’t agree with them always, and never never forget the family you chose who are your friends. Care for them always and then you will find this balance in your life.

    Hope all is well,

    Alicia

    1. Thanks Ali! Great advice as always. On that note, one of my resolutions is to make more of an effort to keep in touch with everyone. I’m so bad at it. But I’ll see you and Gabs in Pamplona in a few weeks and we can catch up!

  2. Nice post. I too enjoy Wanderland. It will be interesting to read about these sorts of adventures from a female perspective.

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