Spain Archives - Ryan Lum
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, tobe in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
Ever since I studied abroad in Paris, France for a month, I knew I had the travel bug. There is something so rewarding and fulfilling about going to a new place where you don’t know anyone. Through traveling, you learn about yourself. You must learn to become more patient, more courageous and more open-minded. You must learn to use what little you have. It’s amazing.
Three friends set out on an adventure to enjoy the culture of Madrid, Spain, run with the bulls in Pamplona, enjoy the beach in San Sebastian, see the sights of Barcelona, enjoy the beer of Berlin, Germany and see the ‘sleaze’ of Amsterdam, Netherlands. All of this in only a couple days. We never would’ve expected the adventure and roller coaster that would be hands down the most memorable ‘vacation’ ever.
Follow the most insane 8 days of my life:
- Day 0 – Packing and preparing for the trip (San Diego 7/10/11)
- Day 1 – We Are In Madrid, Spain! (Madrid, Spain 7/11/11)
- Day 2 – Sh*t hits the fan…and it smells! (Madrid, Spain 7/12/11)
- Day 3 – Run for your life! (Pamplona, Spain 7/13/11)
- Day 3.5 – Ran with the Bulls, Off to the Beach (San Sebastian, Spain 7/13/11)
- Day 4- The Window of Hope (Barcelona, Spain 7/14/11)
- Day 4.5 - Sprechen Sie Englisch? (Berlin, Germany 7/14/11)
- Day 5 – A Street Artist’s Dream (Berlin, Germany 7/15/11)
- Day 6 – Missed Departure (Berlin, Germany 7/16/11)
- Day 7 – Red Lights and Window Tapping (Amsterdam, Netherlands 7/17/11)
- Day 8 – Leaving on a Jetplane (Amsterdam, Netherlands 7/18/11)
- Day 9 – Recovering (San Diego, California 7/19/11)
All of a sudden Jason and I notice a group of people crowding near a corner of the arena. Curiosity got the better of us and we decide to get a closer look. It is until then Jason reminds us that people duck down and ‘block’ the entrance of the arena so the bull has to jump over everyone laying down to get inside. Knowing this, we instantly rush to the side just as a bull hurdles over the mass of people into the center of the ring. It’s on.
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” -Bob Dylan
I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. This is why we were here. We quickly got ready as it was about 5am and needed to get a good spot to run. We haven’t really eaten anything since about 6pm the day before. It rained the night before so the roads were slick. I was nervous that with all that has happened, something bad would happen today. I was nervous that all of this was an omen to come. Regardless, we all got ready and headed out into the morning. I kept my mind positive…I would not die today. Rather, this would be one of the best moments of my life.
How often do you honestly think that?
I couldn’t believe I’m going to all these destinations. This was going to be one heck of a trip and I’m going to capture every moment! Tim, Jason and myself caught an early morning flight via continental airlines out of sunny San Diego and head to Madrid, Spain. The flight starts off with a 6 hour trip to New Jersey then to our destination, Madrid. We arrived and went through the security checkpoint no problem. Oh except Jason who was frisked down immediately. We board the plane to set off for our new adventure through Europe.
The skies looked so peaceful and calm like little puffs of icecream or cotton. I can certaily understand the idea of a castle in the cloud. The whole flight over I was thinking how beautiful it was to be so high up in the sky.
When I first got off the plane, I could not believe that I was in a whole new country. I’m in Spain! It was a warm 76 degrees and an obviously beautiful day. We grab the metro and head to our hostel, HostelOne Centro.
The hostel was quaint and homey. The walls were of earthy tone and felt right at home. The staff was friendly and I was excited to stay at my first hostel. Hopefully it will be a good first impression. Read more…
I love traveling because it opens your mind to new ideas, cultures and traditions. Whenever anyone asks me why I love travel, it’s really a simple answer. I enjoy it.
When I studied abroad in Paris, France about a year ago, it opened my mind to a new culture. I studied French language and culture back in school, but it’s totally a different ball game when you are actually immersed in the culture. Waking up in the morning and going to a local market for fresh produce. Struggling to make conversation and get help if you get lost or you’re confused. Taking life slow and enjoy the pleasures of laying on the lawn beside the Eiffel Tower. There is nothing more rewarding than going out and having experiences.
Travel also gets you to actually go out and see new things. It seems when we live in one place for awhile, we still never go out and do everything. Whenever you are out traveling, there is always a list of things you want to see while you are there. Ultimately, I want to go out and experience life and culture so that when I have children, I can raise them with a more open-minded and worldly perspective.
I plan on taking a trip to Spain, Germany and Amsterdam in a couple months. Here are some of the things I plan on doing while I’m there (on-going list that I will continuously add on to):