On September 8, 2000, I left Washington, DC and arrived in Madrid, Spain on the following morning. For the next five years or so, I would negotiate with myself, “one more year, one more”, and then later Madrid or Paris, until the next thing I knew, I had already spent an entire decade – all of the 2000s (or however we’ll call this decade in retrospect) – in Spain.
Somehow when I look in the mirror, I keep thinking that I will resemble that same guy who left home a decade ago. And yet so much has happened both in my life and back home. For example, I missed the entire Bush presidency and the post-9/11 years. In Y2000, I didn’t have a cell phone, iTunes, WiFi or a blog even. And during this period, I lost two grandfathers, two great uncles, a great aunt, and a couple of friends. But I gained a nephew, a niece, three first cousins, a goddaughter, and countless friends. And just last year, I was thrice married: each time to the same woman.
Whenever people ask me why I moved to Spain a decade ago, I always give the same answer: I can’t even begin to remember.