first; a little introduction. mi vriend Amaparo brought me to Brussels, Charleroi early Thursday morning for my flight. i would like to thank RyanAir, for screwing me over HARD with extra charges and last minute fees (…you sneaky sneaky airline Co. you) I left BE on a cold rainy day, the skies filled with miles and miles of gray clouds….
…and arrived in beautiful sunny Barcelona. I leave el aueropuerto and make my way to the hostel Kabul where i’m meeting a friend and staying for the night. Once i make it into the heart of the city I walk around and explore a bit. Never in my life have I seen a place quite like this, so full of life and energy. i love the people, and love what i see
i’m surprised by how easily my Spanish comes back, i understand what i read and hear…and to be able to communicate with strangers is such a great feeling. i’m walking on my own, know no one, and it’s incredibly liberating. no time schedule to stick to, no set plans for my afternoon, equipped with nothing but a backpack, an open mind, and an open heart. i get to the hostel, crash for a few hours…then wake up to sight see some more before going out to Catwalk (a club Kabul organized a group outing to). The club made for a really fun time, I don’t think i stopped dancing once…some of the songs that stood alone? “Rap Das Armas” (Parapapapa), and “No Speak Americano” naturally.
the next morning the positive vibes are flowing, and the sun is shining brighter than ever. i discover that i have some time to spare before my bus to Alicante, because the trains were full and the first bus I could catch left at around 6. not wanting to stay sitting inside in the very busy and very overwhelming Barcelona Sants, i stroll around the city, sit outside and get a coffee at this little cafe..then discover this amazing park. SUCH a hidden treasure. there were miles of trees, gardens, statues, fountains and places to sit and think in the sunshine
AYYYY ALICANTE. i arrive late at night, and kathleen and her roommate meet me outside the plaza near their apartment. SO tired from traveling, so we chat, eat spoonfuls of Nocilla (nutella X 38473829748374) and get some sleep. the next day kathleen stops by the market, and get fresh fruit and vegetables and makes the BEST salad for our lunch. i LOVE foreign cities, they have everything fresh and delicious available for purchase 24/7. so clutch. we spend that saturday roaming around the city, here are some pictures to recap the day;
that night, i would narrow it down and tell you the bars/clubs i liked the best…but to be 100% honest, i don’t know all the names, there were a thousand that we went to. i had SO MUCH FUN. i danced all night. Now, because Kathleen is sexalexin and blonde, bouncers and club owners literally dragged us in ahead of the line every single time… regardless to whether or not we really even wanted to go. my pretty little Rubia ; )
the next day, we woke up forced ourselves to get semi-presentable, then made our way to the beach. i swear the Mediterranean heals your soul. the water is as clear and azul-like as it looks in the pictures. after the beach we went hiking from 3pm-sunset up Benacantil Mountain to explore one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe…the Santa Barbara Castle. the view from the top is amazing. breathtaking.
ten things I learned;
1. sangria, real sangira swimming with fresh fruits…wild and tart, yet sweet until the last drop, is heavenly. to me, this is THE flavor of Spain
2. always trust your intuition, do what you feel is right. don’t fear the unknown just because it’s something you’re unfamiliar with
3. strangers? most are kind souls just looking to create a new relationship here and there. there is an unbelievable amount of openness in Spain as compared to America/BE/or any other place i’ve ever traveled to before. one came up to Kathleen and her roommates at the market on Saturday morning and told them they were beautiful, smiling, talking, saying hello…those little gestures make all the difference. we really are, all the same
4. walking everywhere beats relying on public transportation X 234837289402947. you see more, learn more, and your legs get a serious work out. plus it’s fun to stroll the streets in the sun, happiness is everywhere…and it’s nice to have that little extra bounce in your step
5. siestas every day from 2-4 are glorious, but as a visitor…if you sleep for too long you’ll miss out on some serious adventures. get out there and take some risks
6. there is no such thing as too much color, too much loving, too much singing, too much drinking, or too much dancing. seeing all of this passion for life sparks new, brilliant and innovative thoughts
7. couples are oh so couple-y. i swear, i didn’t see a single couple, young or old who weren’t completely in love. whether they were walking arm in arm down the street, or stopping to kiss in a crosswalk, or laying together in the sun on the grass…it shocked me, in a good way. they don’t have the slightest problem showing their love and affection. America, you could learn from this.
8. this country has pride for it’s culture, history, soccer teams, music, street arts, cuisine, everything. they value what’s important to them. when you’re in Spain, you KNOW you’re in Spain. oh, and as much as the city is alive during the day, it is even more alive at night.
9. minimalism is key; pack less, carry less, wear less, fear less, stress less.
10. listen to your heart. i know this sounds cliche, but i learned a great deal about myself over the course of those few days. i faced a lot of fears and gave my heart some space to communicate. put faith in myself, and looked within for guidance