In less than 12 hours, I will be heading out of the country to participate in the 2011 Reign in Spain event with a very small handful of other architects, interior designers, and members of the media. As excited as I was to be selected, this is not my first time to Spain. It was exactly 20 years ago when I was 22 years old and still in college that I made my first trip to Spain so counting this upcoming trip, this will be the … aahhh, let me see … uhmm, carry the one and … okay, yeah, that’s right. This will be my second trip to Spain.
It is a bit disappointing that so much time has passed between these trips but that is one of the major contributors to me being excited about this trip. What I was able to experience and see in a country with the history and culture of Spain as a 22 year-old college kid will make this trip a comparison of extremes. Twenty years ago I didn’t know anything about Spain and I didn’t take the time to do any research or preparation work prior to arriving -unless you count working on my tan that summer as “preparation”. This time around I have read volumes of information on the economy and the political environment in addition to looking at historical and current architectural projects. I plan on experiencing a completely different Spain this time around – one not seen through train windows while traveling on Eurail passes. I plan on eating food served on a plate not prefaced with the word “paper”, and I won’t have to wonder if my pants can go another day without being washed.
I plan on spending my time looking at different sorts of things this time around. Yes, you can probably make some safe assumptions of what garners the attention of a young college aged male traveling in a foreign country … and you would be right, but I’ll save the stories about my discotheque experiences for my travel companions (or on second thought, maybe I won’t). This trip will put me in 3 cities I have never been to before; Zaragoza, Teruel, and Valencia – and my focus this time will be on Mudejar style architecture and the world-class design and production of the tile of Spain.
Yes, there is no doubt that I will see Spain in an entirely new light the second time around. I am older, more focused, and have a thirst for a different sort of knowledge. Now I am able to understand the craftsmanship and technical skill that goes into the tile manufactured in Spain. Seeing the products and attending Cevisama (the International Ceramic Tile show), coupled with my current knowledge of how to properly use them, will add a level of appreciation that was non-existent 20 years ago.
But I wonder what the statute of limitations is for parking on the dance floor?