“In wilderness is the preservation of the world” -Thoreau
I’ve been craving nature. Give me straight up, raw beauty untouched by man.
Nature has this ability to captivate and calm my soul all at once. There’s an unmatched peacefulness that comes with exploring and feeling the crisp air brushing through your hair. If you need to clear your head, grab your hiking boots and go off into the wild.
Backing through the south of Spain was easily one of my favorite experiences during the past 6 months of traveling. Here’s some highlights from my six-city adventure through Andalucía!
For my first evening in Córdoba, a few of us took a night bike tour/tapas crawl to get to know each other and the city. At a small bar near the roman bridge, a girl from Salamanca leaned towards me asking in British English: “So if you don’t know any Spanish, then… how are you getting by, all by yourself?”. I smiled, then answered: “Well, I guess I never thought of it that way. I’m learning basics from people I meet and enjoying figuring it all out”.
I know how to order my favorite tapas, my coffee just how I like it, how to ask for directions, and…that’s about it. This was all part of the fun for me though I’ve got to admit.
If you have time to do the hike through Monachil, I can’t recommend it enough. I’d argue that day was one of my favorite memories with friends I had just met earlier that day through my hostel. You can swim in the water (the waterfalls are incredibly beautiful) and the hike itself is exciting. You feel like you’re in a hidden treasure of nature.
I wrote a snippet about my backpacking trip here, but I’ve also learned that some people come into your life for years and some for maybe just a few hours. But regardless, that time is important. The beauty and heartache of traveling is leaving so abruptly; and yet it’s amazing to cross paths with people from all over the world. Backpacking opened my eyes to the core of human needs and the simplicity of life. It’s not a style of travel for everyone (understandably), but I never thought I’d enjoy living out of a backpack either. It really challenges you and teaches you–and I’m so grateful for all of it.
“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, I would stay and love you, but I have to go”
P.S. I’m working on my “favorite hostels in europe” post for all the avid European travelers!