spain x 3: reflection

 Me in Seville, Spain- everyone else was wearing coats but for me, this is warm! :)

Me in Seville, Spain- everyone else was wearing coats but for me, this is warm! :)

In the past when I've traveled, I have usually gone to one major city in each country. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity this trip to go to three different cities in Spain. It gave me so much perspective and a greater understanding of the country as a whole. I absolutely LOVE the Spanish culture- the food, the energy, the people, the "don't worry about it" mentality. 

 Warm spanish colours in Madrid

Warm spanish colours in Madrid

  • I really really really want to learn Spanish! I tried to practice the basics while I was there, however, even if I got it right, the listening back was difficult! And led to a few minor train mishaps :) It is truly so empowering to be able to communicate and I only became more inspired to do so after visiting. Duolingo here I come!
  • People!!! <3 <3 <3- I had a friend in Madrid and Barcelona, which was so amazing to have them show me around. I feel so lucky to have had a local's perspective and the company, too!! Also, in Seville, we had free group dinners at the hostel and I met such a great group of people! I felt so at home- paella and all. I even met a couple of guys who quit their jobs in San Francisco a few months ago to travel! Like-minds :) And: Running into people! I saw people from my hostel/trains in Lisbon in different parts of Spain! Such a small and loving world.
  • Madrid: Markets (San Anton, San Miguel, Platea- coolest DJ venue ever), Museums (Archealogy, Prado, Reine Sofia), Neighborhoods (Chequa, La Latina, Retiro Park), cheese-related tapas, G&T
  • Seville: Sun!, Getting lost in the side streets and stumbling upon courtyards lined with orange trees, Real Alcazar, Valentine's spontaneity: walked the streets aimlessly for three hours with my headphones in taking in at all in- very "me" moment :), as I was heading back, I saw a rooftop bar (my favorite, and at sunset, and provided gummies) so went up and then randomly entered a flamenco show (so good!) on my way back to the hostel dinner, spontaneous and present nights, hammock on roof below the stars.
  • Barcelona: coffee shops (anywhere in Born or Gracia!), Mama's Cafe (courtyard in back), staying with Marta's family was so nice- to have a home, bed, family and home-cooked meal! I am so appreciative of them and also their accommodation of my vegetarian diet :) Her mom even made me a bread and cheese sandwich in the morning for the airport- way to my heart.

From left: 1- street art in La Latina (Madrid, Spain), 2- sunset in Seville, 3- hostel in Seville "What this world needs is a group dinner" <3, 4- beautiful architecture in Barcelona

Each of my "learnings" from my Lisbon: reflections blog continues to reign true every day. I continue to learn these things in different ways, shapes and forms. Through all the ups and downs, highs and lows, seamlessness and imperfect chaos, the journey is a beautiful experience. A few to add to the list!:

- You never know who you will meet, what you will find, who you will run into, how organically things will happen. I am consciously working on ensuring my heart and mind are open! Going with the flow and seeing what happens next. Limiting my expectations enables me to follow whatever forward in that moment. 

- Observing the dialogue in my mind and practicing self-love. Being off the grid has helped me realize, too, how many of my "problems" are completely made up in my head! Also, being patient w/ myself if/when I fall short.

- Power of gratitude- when I am feeling alone or anxious I talk out loud to myself or draw all of the little things I'm so appreciative of... it really helps! @wordsmeetwalls and I use to do this in the morning in the car but I will continue voicing aloud for now!

- Sensory and decision overload! It is a beautiful thing to take in so many choices, paths, options at once. With five senses going at a fast speed in new places, I am sometimes overwhelmed by all there is. Being observant and listening to my gut has been a great way to guide me to the next thing and selectively gather inspiration along the way!

Thank you for following along!
XX L

Lauren WittigComment