June 4, 2020

Getting There: Adventures in Space-A Travel, Part 2

Our ride to Spain!

Photo by Author.

We caught the flight! Last week, we discussed our adventures with Space Available military travel, and how we were stranded in a holding pattern at Norfolk, Naval Air Station awaiting a flight to Rota, Spain. Well, turns out the fifth time is the charm, and we now find ourselves in sunny southern Spain. We actually got to ride on a C-17, a first for us.

Was waiting to Norfolk for two weeks worth it? I think so, as we’re living and working long term on the road, and we therefore need to put a roof over our head each and every night, wherever we may be. Once we were selected for the flight, everything went pretty quickly. And hey, it felt like a bit of a secret spy adventure, as we accompanied bearded Spec Ops guys looking like something out of The Unit on their first leg headed to the Horn of Africa.

As I write this, we’ve made the transition to beach side life in downtown Rota, Spain. We’re three days in country now, and today we ‘cut the apron strings’ with small town Americana, as we moved off base to living off of the community. No more Doritos, though there’ll always be a nearby McDs to dive into, at least for a quick dependable bathroom.

And the weather here on the Atlantic side of Spain couldn’t be better in February, with a daily high in the mid-60s F, sunny and clear, with just a light breeze. Our transition into cultural craziness has been about as mild as one could ask for. I feel the mental writing juices coming back, and may be soon ready to engage fiction writing once again to boot.

What’s next? Well, we’re looking to hop a ferry Friday over to the island town of Cadiz, for an 11 day Air BnB stay. This’ll be our 1st international Air BnB, and will give us a short term home base with a real kitchen. Eventually, we plan to rent a car, but for now, its actually great not to have the extra added stress of having to drive constantly. Everything’s going off in stages, and we’re hoping to explore Gibraltar, Morocco, and perhaps the Canary Islands, as well as Andalusia. And then… who knows? Perhaps a longer driving loop around Spain north through the Pyrenees and down through Portugal is in order… on a longer stretch, we may hop over to Sicily via another military flight. Our watchwords are ‘follow the weather’ as the 60 degree temps make their way northward this Spring.

Of course, moving west to east is always tougher in terms of jet lag, as we find ourselves wide awake at 2AM. Luckily, we only had one night to deal with that. Our cure is to force ourselves to stay awake a full day long stretch, until we court total exhaustion. Usually this works within a day or so, to reset our bodies to local time.

It’s great to be back out on the road again. If nothing else, our arrival in Spain gives our lonely 2009 Ecuador stamp company. We always vowed to set foot outside the US at least once a year, and then we promptly went from 2010 to 2015 planted in the US of A. Does an afternoon in 2014 transiting Canada heading from the Lake of the Woods to North Dakota count?

We’re about 98% there now, in terms of total freedom and living the life we want to lead, entirely on our own terms.

We can’t say enough about what great weather does to recharge the old mental batteries. We hereby move that we need to discover a new Earth 2.0 exoplanet with a permanent Mediterranean climate to colonize… immediately.



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