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My name is Scott and I like to travel. There I said it, wow that does feel better. There is probably a program for my affliction somewhere. I am what I would consider a Normal Guy. I am a native Arizonan, sometimes we are called “Zonies”. I am in my mid 40′s and enjoy a great life. I am self employed and have a wonderful daughter and Partner. Although I would say my life is a fairly normal one, I am also quite lucky in that I have the ability to travel and enjoy the world, I enjoy learning about other cultures and experiencing the world around us. I want to be right upfront about the type of travel I enjoy and the type I don’t. You will probably not ever read a story of about me backpacking my way through the serengeti during the height of summer, nor will you probably read any stories of me sleeping in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in Paris. I am not a budget traveler, nor am I an uber luxury traveler, I fall somewhere in the middle, where most people fall I believe. I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my stories, my views and my excitement for traveling around this world with my friends, family. However it doesn’t stop there for me, I also wanted to make friends with others around the world, those who travel and those who dream of travel. Blogs and Websites evolve over time, mine will no doubt expand over time as well please come back and see what has taken place. However if you have come to my blog to schedule a flight or a hotel, this is not the place.

Rage against the Machine…Is Change coming?

There are times when traveling to other parts of the world, you will find yourself in the middle of a Political or Social drive to affect change.  We encountered this in Spain.  If you have watched the recent World Wide news of Spain, you have probably watched the Protests that are taking place in the center of Madrid, Barcelona and other Cities throughout the country.  Just a few hundred yards from our hotel, (Petite Posada Del Peine) is Puerta Del Sol in Madrid.  This is the epicenter of change.

Puerto Del Sol, Madrid

This is one Madrid’s most centrally located Squares, and is home to some of this countries Government Buildings.  Now it is also home to hundreds if not thousands of the Cities Youth, exerting their rights to better government.  You will also find these Youth, exerting their right to a better Government in Barcelona, where they have erected their version of a tent city living in the  Placa De Catalunya.

Tree People in Barcelona

 On a recent walk through these tent cities, there must be nearly 1000 people living in these tents.  When I call it tent city, I mean it.  It is nothing but tents, however they have colonized the area and built a miniature city complete with sections for children, emergency care, sleeping, general and meeting areas.  These young people are a fascinating group and this is a fascinating place.  They are here for peace, they demonstrate in peace, they are against discrimination and want equality for all, they are like millions of young people around the world.  They are disenfranchised with their countries current leadership.

Jerry, Lisa and Tony

When watching the reports on Television in the U.S., it has been presented that the Youth of Spain are upset over the unemployment rate and the lack of jobs.  And that this issue has sparked their peaceful revolt against their government.

Currently Spain’s unemployment rate is slightly over 20%, but the youngest workers unemployment rate is speculated to be nearly 40%.  This is a good reason to be upset, and a good reason to demand change.  But this is not all that they want to see change they believe corruption, ineffectiveness abound in their current political culture.  Although we only talked to a handful of people, if these people are representative of the organized effort, they are in trouble.

The problem I see here is that they don’t really know what they are doing, and what they want, they appear to be nothing more than a band of Hippies.  But more importantly if this group really wants to affect change they must organize themselves and have a committed and consistent message.  Don’t get me wrong, these are young, smart people.  They have literally created a city within a city, complete with a written plan of the city (schematic), schedules for entertainment and education.  They hold rallies to energize the group etc.

1 a.m. rally in Madrid

When talking to these young people, who were all very friendly and seemed to be happy, one question I asked each one is, do you currently have a job?  Out of the 10 or so I asked, only one did not.  When asked what it is they want to see their government do?  They had a hard time answering that question.  When asked how they will know when, and if you get the change you want?  This to was a question they could not answer.  And finally, when I asked when will this Peaceful Revolution end?  They could only say that when the Government releases those who were wrongly arrested in the previous weeks, they were expecting that to happen within a couple of weeks.

Granted I was not talking to their leadership, but if this is what they have on the street, pushing for change, then their leadership has also let them down.  What this told me is that they really don’t know what they want or when they want it.  If their leadership knows, they don’t see to be sharing it with those on the streets pushing for change.

Schematic of Tent City

They have also reduced their demands to simply letting a few arrested people go.  This is not a Revolution of a Lion, but a quiet roar of a Cub.  This same sort of Youth Revolt is happening all over Europe and the Middle East we have heard of the Arab Spring Uprisings, not all of these have been peaceful as they are in Spain.   Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Greece, among others whose Youth have taken a different approach, one of violence and damage.  In Madrid, the young men and women were peaceful and happy to share their views and desires, they welcomed us in to tell us why they were there, from their perspective.

This was tame by measure of other statuary

However in Barcelona, It was disappointing to see the youth, the protesters deface the art and statuary in Placa De Catalunya in their push to be heard.  This Art is part of the Countries Culture and History and should not be defaced, if the youth continues to do this sort of thing, they will loose any legitimacy they gain.  Yes, I know that statement is nothing more than my perspective and it is rooted solely in my disregard for people who deface and disrespect Art.  However, I do not think I am alone.

I am not a political writer, but I am a person who can see that these young people have heart and desire to live in a better world, a better Spain.  They should be encouraged to continue through peaceful protests and work to develop a consistent message.  To work with their Government to affect change, to lead Europe and their country in a direction that enhances their lives.

Tent City, Madrid, Spain

But as a traveler to their beautiful country, I hope that the youth of Spain, doesn’t get lost in what their goals are and that they will protect the beauty of their Country, Culture and History.  When traveling abroad it is important to embrace what is taking place, to learn from it, to share it with others, you may very well be in the midst of dramatic change in the world.  I look forward to returning to Spain to see the change that these young people have brought about.

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Spanish Revolution, a set on Flickr.

Happy Travels

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