When looking back on any trip, it is wonderful to think about all of the amazing sights and monuments you had the opportunity to witness. Maybe you saw one of the most famous paintings in the world, or saw a magnificent palace constructed hundreds of years ago. These are fond memories; you are almost proud of what you were able to see with your own eyes. However, it is not the sights that make a trip so memorable. The most memorable part of any trip are specific moments in time that move you in some way.
I specifically took this picture not only in reaction to the beautiful nature of the subject, but rather to try to capture the moment I had when I first witnessed this breathtaking view. Park Güell, one of Gaudí’s major works, offered some of the most favorable views of Barcelona I had yet seen. I remember being so awestruck by the view of the city that I had to set my camera down for a minute. I remember thinking about the fact that the body of water on the other side of the city was the Mediterranean Sea, and after a lifetime of seeing it on a map I finally was presented the opportunity to gaze on it in all its glory with my own two eyes. I remember feeling so warm; it was a balmy 60 degrees F on an early January day. Most of all, I remember the feeling that what I saw in front of my own eyes, right in front of me, was not real. I truly felt like I was dreaming.
This is a moment I captured in Granada after exploring La Alhambra at night with a few of my favorite people. I was rapidly falling in love with the pomegranate (Granada means pomegranate in Spanish – you’re welcome). It was the smallest city we visited in Spain and you could just feel the deep rooted history and unique culture as you wandered the tight, winding streets (this happens to be one of the largest streets in Granada, Gran Via). In this moment, I was just thrilled to be witnessing such a beautiful city. I felt so lucky to be exploring the pomegranate with some of the most wonderful people I had ever met. I remember feeling adventurous; we were wandering through an unfamiliar place searching for any type of food joint we could find. I felt like I could conquer the world. I felt completely at peace. I felt happy.
There are so many unforgettable moments that were too special for me to ruin by taking a picture, moments that made this trip one of the best experiences of my life. I am just so happy I took the leap of faith and booked a trip even though I was going alone to an unfamiliar place with a group of people I had never met before. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and with this trip under my belt I feel an overwhelming urge to continue traveling to new places all over the globe. It enforces my desire to learn several languages (I’m still working on Spanish… one at a time, right?) and to meet people from all different walks of life. I want to learn more about the world, different cultures, different religions. I want to live a life of purpose and I want to pursue a career that will benefit and help other people.
Take a leap of faith and travel somewhere, anywhere. Free yourself from the constraints that tie you to one place and broaden your horizons (literally). After you travel somewhere unfamiliar, it is true you don’t come back the same. You come back with a better understanding of the world and not only a tolerance for the differences between different cultures, but a genuine interest in them. You come back a better person.
Get out there and see the world!