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Excerpts from the original book
Adventures in Spain/Catherine Petit
This five-part series includes the
Introduction and Parts I to IV


Photos/C. Petit

The New Me

My third life started a few years ago, and I was unprepared for it to begin and I knew I had to find the new me.

. . . My first life was with my parents and family. During this phase I just floated along with the moves from house to house, and school to school.

Catherine Petit, author of Adventures in Spain

My second life was with my husband. It was an exciting time. We traveled by car, many times across the states and into Canada. We worked, and . . . enjoyed life. Then one day, unexpectedly, my husband of almost 36 years died – and I was lost.

So there I was on the cusp of my third life. Alone – frightened – lost.

My world was within four walls. I had my music, and sometimes I would venture into the mall and bring home items I didn’t need, . . . perhaps attempting to fill the void with something – anything. I was finding it harder to go anywhere. Wherever it was, it was just too far.

Thank goodness for my brother John who, with his wisdom and gentle ways, coaxed me along and slowly guided me back to the land of the living . . . One day, at [his] urging, I decided it was time . . . for me to come out of my self-imposed cave and start to live again.

I needed to find out how strong I was, so I booked a tour of a country I wanted to see: Spain, a place where I did not speak the language . . . I left the States on my own, excited to be traveling again, and a little afraid.

“When I first set out on my adventure, I wondered where the paths would lead me!”

When I landed in Madrid, I thought, What have I done? I was in Spain. On my own!!! Joining a tour group!!! All new things for me to do, once I stepped off the plane.

The tour was only for nineteen days with Road Scholar and in that short time I fell in love with Spain . . . I found [it] to be a magical country. The cities, the people, the museums, the food, the churches, and the cathedrals.

. . . I loved exploring all of Spain. When I left [the country that first time,] I knew I would return, and I did.