Surprisingly enough, in over 3 years writing this blog about travels and (mostly) about my thoughts and feelings, I never wrote deeply about my supreme love for music. As much as I have thought about it, I never dared to sit and start trying to put in words feelings and emotions that belong to ethereal domains, I guess supra-rational even. Any attempt would only diminish the extension of such true love. Therefore, I'm not here to talk about music, although I'll start with it.
My musical journey continues almost on a daily basis. Discovering music is a huge part of my life. Like in many other things, I don't follow a specific direction or genre, I discover music somehow randomly and based on some kind of connection I create with a band or a genre or a movement. Often I start "digging" in one side and end up finding completely different things which blow me away. Other times, I just attend concerts here in Porto and get introduced to whole new sounds of beauty. The latest band I found out that completely invaded my life was Galaxie 500, an indie band formed in Boston and that existed for a short period in the late 80's, which gained a cult status and is cited as a major influence to many other bands.
They have a song called "Tugboat" which sounds a bit silly at first and it's not even my favourite, but it kinda got stuck in my ear. While checking the lyrics, I found out that the song was written with reference to Sterling Morrison, a founding member of the Velvet Underground, who was a major influence for Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500). Apparently, after leaving the Velvet Underground, he went to work as a tugboat captain for some years during the 80's. So I went and check what a tugboat is and the song gained a whole new meaning and depth.
Anyway, the reason I'm talking about that song is that it made me reach the conclusion that I need a new chapter in my life. It's time to leave Porto.
When I came back from my roadtrip across USA (which, by the way, was the initial reason for this blog), I had just experienced one of the greatest adventures in my life which also represented two and a half years of financial choices towards that big goal. In many aspects, often I chose (or had to) not to live the present in order to be able to travel for several weeks in the States. I was fine with that, but after achieving that dream, I returned full of energy and wanting to live life to the fullest on a daily basis, without sacrificing the present over a future dream.
So I moved to Porto and fulfilled the life I was envisioning back then: get a nice flat in downtown, explore all the things happening in the city, meet new people and increase my cultural activities as much as possible. However, I continued working in my hometown, 30km south, so this vision represented a huge increase of my fixed monthly expenditure. Although it sounded crazy to most people, I was sure this was the right thing to do and in fact it was. Since I moved in October 2012, that I found a renewed love for the city and especially during the first year I led a very exciting and entertaining life. Neverthless, I thought it would be possible to have this life and still save money for future life changing trips. Basically I wanted it all: working in my dream job (ETCAF, an uncertain but truly rewarding struggle), live in the only "big" (for portuguese standards) city nearby my workplace and also be able to travel a lot.
Time and experience proved me wrong. Over the past two years and a half I was not able to save money to do a long trip, wherever it may be. For several reasons, which I don't regret at all, I'm still very distant to have the necessary amount of money to travel to South America for 7 or 8 weeks. I managed to travel a bit in Europe and in Portugal, but mostly short trips which, albeit good, didn't change my life or inspired me decisively.
So I'm back again to that purpose, I want to seek greatness. I miss the asphalt, I miss the long hours driving towards unknown lands. I miss the adventure. I miss feeling larger than my own life. I miss feeling infinite. I miss being flooded with love and joy from random people along the way.
That's why I need to leave Porto in some months and live near my hometown. Also because Porto is not New York or London or Berlin where life happens everywhere and all the time. Porto is not such a vibrant city worthy to sacrifice my need to travel. There are things that I feel only when traveling. The everyday life, as nice as it can be, can't produce such sensations. On the bright side, I'll be living only 30km away, so will be easy to come here.
I'm actually excited with my decision, which will allow me to travel already this summer (if nothing unexpected happens in the meantime). Maybe I'm getting old and nostalgic but this summer will be 10 years since I went to Budapest for my erasmus year. That was a defining moment in my life. So I feel like driving for an entire month across Europe and visit friends I've made during the past decade. I genuinely miss them all. Plus, the idea of being back on the road for long hours is enlighting my days. I miss that freedom.
And I also set another deadline. In 2016 I'm gonna travel again for a long time. South America, Asia, whatever. For me, it is never about the destination, it's about going somehwere, for going's sake.
One thing is sure, Galaxie 500 will be part of the playlist for the road! Here's one of my favourites: