So tomorrow the family and I are flying to Barcelona—for a month.

We’re doing a house swap with another family, which is exciting/affordable/kind of scary. The couple moving in are a couple of police officers, so our house will actually be safer than it was with us living in it. They, on the other hand, have no such luck. Sports writers—not so tough.

Why Barcelona? Why not? The wife and I both speak Spanish (hers is better than mine); we both have jobs with great flexibility; and we both acknowledge life is short, and staying still is significantly easier than actually challenging oneself. So we’re challenging ourselves—we’re going to live in a new city, slog through a foreign language, drag our kids to places that might not totally interest them.

We’ll actually be living Arbucies, a small town roughly one hour outside of the city. The house swap is sort of a cool deal—we swap cars, we swap pets (We have a dog, they have a cat. We win). In a sense, we swap lives. They belong to a local pool, which will be great for my kids. I’m worried most about the tykes adjusting to the lifestyle/time alterations—afternoon siesta, dinner around 8 pm, to bed at 10. But, well, so what? What’s mild-discomfort in the name of an adventure? Of exposing my kids (and myself) to the world?

Back in the day, when I was a young writer at The Tennessean, there was a a receptionist who I really liked. One day we were chatting and she said, “I’ve never left Tennessee.”

“Never?” I asked.

“Well, once,” she said. “A day trip to Alabama.”

I was probably 22 at the time. I’d been to England once, Mexico and Canada. That’s all. But even with my limited exposure, her experience saddened me. There’s sooooooooooo much out there—food, culture, language, smells, sights. We have to push ourselves, because it’s all so fleeting (If I die on this trip, here’s the line someone will read at my funeral. Damn. Wait, now they’ll add the last line, because it’ll show humor. Double damn).

Anyhow, for the seven of you who follow this blog, I’ll be writing away from overseas. Different experiences, different content—same snarky BS.  🙂

PS: If anyone has any tips/must-sees/eats/etc in Barcelona and the surrounding area, please lemme know via comment here. Thanks.