After 15 glorious days of traveling around Spain, I just returned to a cold, rainy Germany. Although I’m majorly missing the beautiful Spanish weather, this constant downpour is actually helping me to be productive with unpacking, laundry and important things like uploading pics and blogging! But boy… I really loved my Spain getaway.
I enjoyed every second of eating tapas and paella, drinking Sangria, exploring new cities, beach days, endless sunshine, warm weather, reuniting with old friends, making new friends, going out, sleeping in, chill days reading in the park or a cafe, jam-packed days filled with non-stop adventure, practicing the 10 Spanish phrases I know and walking, walking, endless walking!
Throughout my travels, I have had some trips with people and some that were solo. Each time is a completely new experience and is special in it’s own way. Backpacking with my cousin was very different than traveling with my family in Italy last month, which was way different than traveling around New Zealand with 4 friends, all of which are extremely different than traveling alone. Each experience has its advantages and its disadvantages and I honestly could not choose which one I prefer. But every time I travel solo, the same thing always happens at the beginning of my trips.
I arrive in a new city and check in to my hostel. I get settled in and study the free map they always give you upon arrival and hope to meet some fellow travelers in my room, but it’s usually empty because everyone is out exploring the city so then I kind of start to get depressed. Here’s an example of my thought process: “I’m in a brand new city and I’m all by myself. I wish I had someone to hang out with. What am I going to do tonight? I don’t want to spend my first Saturday night in Spain alone! I need to make some friends. This sucks… why did I decide to come here alone?”
When I finally pick my self up out of my self-pity, I head out into the new city (in this case, Valencia), and start to calm down a bit as I realize I’m in a beautiful, medieval city in Spain and I have so much to explore and learn about. In better spirits, I decide to go to the grocery store to buy food to cook for dinner and a bottle of wine. I head into the hostel’s kitchen, pour myself a glass of wine and start boiling water for pasta. Within minutes, I’m talking to all of the other travelers cooking their meals and I’m making friends from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, South Africa, the UK, Germany, etc. We all sit around the giant table they have in the kitchen to eat together and are swapping travel stories, talking about where we are from and making plans to go out that night together. The next thing you know, it’s 2 hours later and we are pouring each other glasses of wine and the night plans keep getting bigger and better. Then we head off into the foreign city for an epic night that my head usually regrets the next day and I realize I am NOT alone. I am surrounded by friends. Maybe I’ve only known them a couple hours, but they are new friends and I am reminded again why I love solo travel. This was just one example of my first night in Valencia but my facebook account “recently added friends” page is solid proof of the awesome time I had in Spain.
Over the next week or so, I will be posting more specifics about each city I visited in Spain, so keep a look out to hear more about Valencia, Dénia, Madrid, Sevilla, Tarifa and Tangier (Morocco).