I’m a UX designer that follows fear into designing something that addresses frustration head-on. My trip to Spain ignited some unprompted fears. It was a good opportunity to remove myself from the college and catch a little autonomy.
Nothing was working while I was trying to gain independence. I wanted to learn how to learn.
I had had a couple of rough job interviews. I would instinctively react negatively to the simply bureaucratic. I want to know how I will spend my time. That’s hard to do within the boundaries of an interview.
Time to leave town. I had now found the opportunity to leave the country.
Spain was my first stop. I left behind the usual diet and routine. While there, I ate avocados and carbs. Sometimes coffee, sometimes red wine.
I wasn’t backpacking as much as I was being hosted with little overhead on my part.
I was somewhere on a Spanish field overlooking a cliff.It was scary. It might not even have been a cliff.
Tiny logistical hurdles got in the way of just catching museum hours at the right time. Outdoors was a great fallback.
Where I was staying, conversationalists were orbiting a couch. I m not sure I can find it on a google map now, but it was memorable to talk with people staying at this dorm.
I survived on a salt and pepper avocado diet and took some to the cliff wall. Not being a geologist, I told myself, “those slabs are made out of lime.” They looked unstable, and I pictured them falling apart while I was there. Did I fall? No.
In some of the first conversations I tried sparking up in a country, I am pretty certain I got into the comfortable topic about the price of eggs.
I was always in search of spicy food. There is little doubt I was doing detective work to find where I could find some jalapenos. Where did I end up finding the spiciest food? I found a 4-ounce jar of sport peppers in the back aisle of a grocery store.
My trip was done through friends of friends. My hosts were not even acquaintances. I was fortunate.
I went to Bilbao where there were nice museums. The museums were closed when I went, which was probably due to the time at the end of a school year. The shell of the Guggenheim was already the main attraction. It has an unforgettable exterior.
There was a lot of walking and partying. I took every good chance to hang outside observe hilly views. I made sure not to stay at any one place in Europe too long, though.
There was a lot of landscape to remember. It was foggy at times, with a bit of anxiety still from trying to detach myself from daily pressing routines - as many would. That pressure felt like needing to go outside but wanting to go indoors.
I put myself in charge of waking up early. Keeping an eye out for those amenities and the occasional casual party. I was focused on leaving pending tasks to stay pending until I got back to the states.
Works on the process of UX.