Contrary to my personal belief that San Francisco is the center of the universe, not everyone who grows up in San Francisco wants to stay there. Donna left the city by the bay to pursue bigger dreams of living abroad and a more philosophical journey of figuring her life out. She booked a one way ticket to Spain, fell in love with Barcelona, but moved on to the capital city Madrid to see if it would be the shoe that fit in this hard-to-get-a-real-job Spanish economy. Madrid was our meeting point, as Donna was quickly immersed into the lovely Way Hostel clan.
She is not the backpacker who is consuming copious amounts of alcohol and trying to tackle a pub crawl every night. She knows how to have a good time, but she’s focused. She’s determined. She wants Spain to be her new life. She needs to do real people important stuff.
While the rest of the hostel is living in a dormitory fantasy of raging hormones and one euro beer cans that you drink on the street, she’s waking up early to get a phone plan. Then a bank account. She gives advice to others doing the same, and her Spanish is so good she communicates to Vodafone representatives like a true Castilian. It is beyond impressive.
She’s the lady with a huge talent for languages and the courage to pack up and start a new life somewhere. She’s plowed through several options in Spain, and won’t stop until it feels absolutely right. She listens to her heart. She’s a San Francisco baby looking for life beyond the bay. From Donna I learned that no one’s life has to be set in stone, even when you live in the most desirable city of them all.