A walk from Sope to Barika

This year, the St. Patrick’s Day celebration aftermath went into Sunday.

And there is no better way to get yourself moving and out for some fresh air than to go for a hike along the coast.

I packed up my next book (Better, by Atul Gawande), hopped on the metro, and rode the 40 minutes to my friend’s house. From there we walked to Sopelana Beach, then along the coast to Barika.

I’ve walked along the coast numerous times. Almost every weekend I’m either walking or running in that same area. And every time I stop and stare out into the ocean, I just feel this sense of peace, accompanied by the most calming breeze. As many times as I try and capture the moment on my phone, or post it to Instagram, I can’t help but feel disappointed that the person looking at my post can’t enjoy the moment as much as I’m enjoying it right then and there.

When I get into more pensive moments during my walk, sometimes I just stop and look at my surroundings. I watch my friends with their kids or watch the dogs along the walking path just happily trotting along with their owners, and I wonder what it must be like to have a family, or to have a furry friend to pour your heart into.

At 35 years old, I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea of rescuing a dog, having my own place again, settling into a city by the water. I’ve learned so much from living here in Bilbao, and from the people I’m lucky enough to call my friends. It’s like they showed me exactly what I needed to see (how much fun it can be to have a family or a dog), exactly when I needed to see it (I’m finally ready to want something more permanent) and it’s all starting to make sense.