Solo Adventures in Barcelona

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It is no secret that I am yet to travel by myself, so you could only imagine the shock that I felt in Barcelona when Tiffany got food poisoning. I had no other choice but to go out and face the streets on my own. If I never got that extra push from Tiff I probably would have settled for chilling up on the rooftop bar upstairs in our hotel, but she insisted that I challenge myself. For my first ever solo adventure I chose to go and see the Barcelona Cathedral, it was close by and the journey seemed pretty simple.

All I had to do was get the train from outside my hotel and take it a few stops into Catalunya station. How hard could this task really be? I had been using the train system for the last couple days, so I was pretty sure I would be OK on my own. I said goodbye to my cousin and set off on my first ever solo adventure abroad. As I walked through the train station, all I could think about was my route to the Cathedral. I repeatedly kept going over it in my head just to make sure it stuck.

I emerged onto the platform with confidence and was welcomed with the usual smiles and stares. I was nervous but I kept telling myself that I could do this. If I gave off scared energy then I am pretty sure others would easily pick it up, so I just had to keep my cool. As I boarded the train with other eager passengers , I noticed a random guy smile at me. It caught me off guard but I politely smiled back and quickly put my head down. As I waited for my stop I could feel his eyes. Now you know I was thinking what in the world have I got myself into now?

I just remember thinking about all of the things I had read up online about not drawing attention to yourself when you are alone abroad. It was certainly going to be a hard task for me one because as a dark skinned woman on a train in Barcelona there is no way I would get overlooked. For the rest of that train journey I kept my eyes to myself.

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I came off the train at the right stop, thank God but I could not work out which was the best exit to take to the Cathedral. Frazzled with a confused look on my face I heard a voice from behind me say “are you lost”? to which I eagerly replied, “kinda, I am trying to work out which exit to the cathedral”. To my surprise It just so happened to be the guy who I exchanged a random smile with me lol.

Immediately he told me that he could tell that I was not from Barcelona, went he stopped me on the platform. I did not know if this was a compliment or was he targeting me to be his next kidnap victim. I gave him an awkward smile and quickly changed the subject back to the directions.

I soon came to realise this guy was cool so together we walked and talked as we made our way out of Catalunya station. Turns out he is not a local either, he was born in Germany and currently lives in Barcelona for his studies. I told him that I am a blogger from London with only a few hours left in the city.

I made sure to let him know that I was not in Barcelona alone. To which he offered to to take me out for a drink later on but I reminded him that I was on borrowed time so instead he walked me all the way to the cathedral

Michael had bright blue eyes that glistened in the sun with off blonde hair to match. Cute, but not my cup of tea, he said he would love to check out my blog, so we exchanged socials-and then said our goodbyes. Once he accepted me on Instagram it did not take me long to figure out that he liked hot chocolate and no I am not talking about the drink, lol

Outside of Barcelona Cathedral was busy and of course, the queue was long. I decided that I was not going to get fried in the sun waiting to gain entry. I sat under a tree in the shade read up about the history online. The back story behind the cathedral is rather intriguing. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia was established in the 15th century.

Apparently, it is dedicated to Eulia a young Virgin who refused to dismiss Jesus as the son of God. Baby-girl got done dirty and it has been said that her body lies entombed in the Cathedrals crypt. Kinda creepy right? but there you have it. I must say the Cathedral freaked me out a little from the outside, so I am kind of glad that I did not go inside.

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As I sat back on the wall, a local guitarist played a soothing tune in my ears. I had a moment to sit back and really take in my surroundings. I looked at the faces of the people walking by in the square. I caught glimpses of conversations as they passed me by.

I no longer felt nervous but at ease. I do not know this feeling of comfortably suddenly came from but you would have never believed it was my first time going out on my own. This bubble soon burst when I asked a stranger to take some pictures of me. All of which came out terrible, as I reviewed my lop sided pictures it reminded me why I love having a travel buddy.

God was definitely looking out for me because J met a second person. A young lady named Jian from South Korea who just so happened to be doing some solo travelling herself . Jian morphed into my creative director and gave me a quick photoshoot of a lifetime outside the cathedral, lol. I loved her enthusiasm she was so friendly and bubbly, I can vividly remember the warmth of her smile even today.

Jian added me on whats app and told me anytime I was ready to come to South Korea give her a shout.WOW, can you believe a whole me was out in Barcelona making international connections? It did not stop there though, I even met a guy Mr Mews who is an Author of self help books from South London. It gets even more random because he just so happened to live up the road from me. You can check out his gratitude journal by clicking here.

I moved on from the Cathedral and found myself going deeper into Gothic Quarter. The placed is full of rich history and amazing architecture that dates back over 2000 years. It was great to see some of those medieval buildings still standing in 2018.

I stumbled across a dope art gallery  ‘Villa del Arte Galleries’ check out the pics below. If you didn’t know I am a lover of art, so fir me to come across this gallery really made my day, I was truly in my element.

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I somehow even managed to find myself in another Gelato shop and you already know that I had to have a taste. It was definitely much better than the place I visited with Tiff earlier in my trip but it could never beat what I tasted in Rome. If you are heading to Barcelona soon, do check it Gelarto Rosa.img_6748-1

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With every new street that I turned down, I found myself discovering something different and learning something new. Gothic Quarter just felt like one big mystery, I was drawn in by the authenticity of every building. I also popped into the Historical Archive of the City of Barcelona, the centenary archivist and cultural institution dating back to the 13th century.

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I had spent nearly three hours exploring the Gothic Quarters by myself. I engaged in random conversations, I browsed the shelves of unusual shops, I exchanged smiles with strangers but most importantly I was doing it on my own. The fear that I felt about going out by myself had become a thing of the past.

This one time made me feel like I had done this a thousand times before. For a short moment, I convinced myself I was alone in Barcelona on this solo adventure. It was not until Tiffany called to check up on me that I remembered that I was not alone. It felt surreal having this little piece of independence in another country. I knew that I certainly wanted to experience this again. For the entire day I kept roaming through the streets and turned down as many alleys as my heart desired.

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It really baffled me how reluctant I was to go out by myself in Barcelona without Tiffany. I eventually accepted the challenge, but I had to dig a little deeper to understand why I felt that way. To my surprise, the answer was to be found in an idd place.

My upbringing was very much responsible and had a major role to play. I realised that ever since I was a little kid I have always been very independent, but someone was always close by watching out for me from afar. When I first learned how to ride a bike my dad would hold firmly onto the saddle as I worked the peddles.

One day my dad finally let go but he trailed so close behind me that I was convinced he was still holding on. But he was not, he just stood close enough just in case I needed him. This has been the case for most of my life, my independence comes with a cushion of comfort.

I know that if I hit a rock in a hard place, someone will surely be there for. God has sent me help in the form of family, trusted friends and sometimes even strangers. But this solo adventure was dependent on me and me alone. I had to rely on myself to get around and find the way because there was no one standing close by ‘just in case.

It might sound Ludacris but in those few hours I spent alone exploring the streets of Barcelona, I tapped into a new level of independence that I did not know I had. This caught me off guard but that is one thing I do love about life it is far from predictable.

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I am so proud of myself and I loved that I got to experience that in such a fruitful city. Barcelona 2018 was absolutely amazing with so many unexpected twists and turns to make the trip even more memorable. I was pushed right out of my comfort zone but like a true champ, I arose to the occasion and did the damn thing. I do hope to visit Barcelona again in the near future and get a chance to experience the nightlife and the rest of what this great city has to offer.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this mini spin-off of Free flow in Barcelona.24c23826-ac8c-4cfa-807d-800c060a1cc3-1

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

The perks of having a Travel Buddy

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Solo travelling has taken off like never before. Nowadays both men and women are jetting off in pursuit of solo travel adventures oppose to bunching together in a group. It is the new in thing and by the looks of social media, this is a trend that is most definitely here to stay.

I am all here for it, even though I am yet to jet off solo. Yes, if you did not know, I am a solo travel virgin. I know I know I need to get out there and just do it. But there are so many great reasons attached to having a travel buddy that I am yet to jet off on my own. Before you start to tell me all the reasons WHY I should travel solo. Let me tell you about the perks that come with having a Travel buddy.

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  1. Two heads are always better than one

It is no secret that by yourself you are a movement. But like the saying goes you are more of a force when there are two of you together. I most definitely agree because when my travel buddy and I put our superpowers together it’s lit. I do not know what I would do if I did not have a travel buddy, because they are literally the brains behind the operations.

When it comes to finding the best place to stay, planning the itinerary and navigating around it definitely helps to have another person on board to help you figure things out. Together you both have different strengths that help you to bounce off each other. I assure you that you can never go wrong with having more brain power when you travel.

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Slaying & Sightseeing in Barcelona – August 2018

  1. The bomb ass pictures

In Rome earlier this year I nearly got kicked out of St Peters Basilica at Vatican city, lol. I was doing the absolute most, sprawled out on the antique floors trying to capture those money shots for Tiffany. Looking back now, that was totally inappropriate but hey I did what I had to do to get the best picture.

Now I know most solo travellers use a tripod to capture their pictures, but nothing can compare to the fun you both will have during those mini photo-shoots. Not to mention all of the lovely pictures that you two will get to add to your memory collection. It definitely beats relying on the photography skills of complete strangers who just don’t know your angles.

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Ziplining at Diamonte Eco Park – Costa Rica 2017

  1. Cost-effective

Jetting off with your travel buddy will most certainly save you some coins boo. It is no secret that when you divide the costs between two people, things work out slightly cheaper. Whether it is for a double room in a hotel or an entire Air BnB apartment, booking with a travel buddy will bring those costs down. In Costa Rica, Aaliyah’s and I saved much more money booking our excursions as a pair. Splitting travel expenses for things like transport and food help a great deal.   But don’t shoot the messenger, grab a buddy, book a trip and see for yourself.

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Playas De Coco – Costa Rica 2017

  1. Loneliness is impossible

I love my own company, I just also happen to love being in the company of someone else when I travel. I personally find it to be very comforting. I love being able to turn around at any time to strike up a quick conversation, catch some joke or just have a random moment. There also is this sense of safety and security between you and them. It feels good just knowing that you have a familiar face who is close by.

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All smiles at Trevi Fountain – Rome 2018

  1. Creating memories

The amounts of memories that I have created with my travel buddies over the years all hold a little special place in my heart. Memories do not live like people do, as they are powerful and most importantly they live on forever. There is nothing like doing something amazing on holiday and having someone there to experience that with. I find it hard to imagine what some of my past travel experiences would have been like if I did not have my travel buddy sharing it with me. There are some memories in life that are supposed to be experienced with others and travelling is definitely one of them.

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Snapchatting before seeing Drake – Berlin 2017

  1. Stronger friendship

Spending a significant amount of time with someone will make, break or strengthen the relationship. In my experience, most of my relationships have flourished for the better. Whilst travelling you really get the chance to learn much more about the other person and discover things about them that you probably never knew. The time you spend together will most definitely change the way you see each other, ultimately creating a deeper bond. Worst case scenario the relationship could be completely ruined but hopefully, it does not comes down to that lol.

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Having fun in Kiko – Miami 2016

For me, a Travel buddy is just as good as having a romantic partner and in my experience, they have been better for me than my ex-partners. Don’t believe me? read my post break up travel series. I can definitely say that I have been able to enjoy the perks of travelling in a pair and I plan to do more of thee trips come 2019. Some of my best moments within the last two years have happened with my travel buddies.

With everything in life come the pros and the cons. The pros of a Travel buddy will always outweigh the cons by a long shot. I am not a major fan of large travel groups but I will always be down to jet off on a new adventure with a plus one. All of the travels buddies that I have had over the last few years are unique in their own way and they all bring something different to the table.

Once there is a level of respect, understanding, love and strong communication between the both of you, the travels will most definitely be LIT. Travelling in a pair has been such a positive experience for me and with each new travel adventure, it just gets better and better. I am yet to have a dodgy experience and I pray that I never EVER have to, lol

I sure hope I have done a good job of convincing you to consider getting yourself a travel buddy. If you need some tips on how to choose one let me know and I will post my 10 traits of a good Travel Buddy.

Anyway enough about me, I want to hear from you, my #JWVreaders. Have you travelled with a buddy before? if so was it a good or bad experience? Tell me everything in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @Jennasworldview

 

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

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