I recently came back from a trip to Spain, a country I’ve been wanting to visit ever since I was young. I studied Spanish for six years and have dreamt of going there conversing with the locals. Finally the opportunity to do so arose and I spent a week exploring Alicante, a city I’ve never even heard of before.
Dan works as a teacher, and for sports break he and his fellow colleagues booked a very spontaneous trip to Spain and they invited me to come along. It turned out I remembered almost nothing of the language…
Well, I understood what they said but found it harder to respond so I left the speaking to Jonathan, one of our friends who’s really good with languages.
≫ All images in this post are shot using the Lumix GX8 + Lumix G VARIO 12-35mm f/2.8
Overview of the city with the grand mountains in the background
The trip was wonderful even though my Spanish lingered too far back in my memory, and I enjoyed to get to explore Alicante even though I am not a city girl. But no matter where I go, when I travel, I like to live as much as possible like a local which was really easy here.
We stayed at a lovely apartment booked through Airbnb, it had a bakery next door and the most wonderful shop full of local delicacies (shout out to Jordie for being beyond awesome!) just across the street.
While wandering the streets of Alicante taking in the sounds, smells and sights we made sure to stay away from tourist areas and the big streets. We followed the street art that lead us into the more narrow, winding and colorful backstreets of the city. The art in this town was amazing and really made me enjoy exploring the city even more. It was so vibrant and colorful!
For some reason people who tend to care less and loose their everyday routines while on vacation but it is just as important to keep this mentality when you are traveling and to care for the environment just as you would at home.
Here are some quick tips on what you can do to travel more consciously:
✧ We did our best to be conscious about our surroundings and picked up trash we found lying around and we recycled our own garbage as well. The streets outside our apartment had big containers for paper, plastic and glass which really helped.
✧ We brought our own bags and said no to plastic bags when doing grocery shopping.
✧ Use your own water bottle! We all carried bottles that we refilled at the apartment or had cafés and restaurants fill up for us so that we could avoid buying water and unnecessary plastic bottles.
✧ Since we stayed in an apartment we cooked a lot at home and of course we made sure to support the small, local shops and fruit vendors. We wanted to taste as much of Spain as possible by eating local food and procuring wine from the country, or even the region. Not only will this enrich your journey, but supporting the local stores and craft is a lot better from an environmental standpoint and helps the tourism too.
Note: These things are of course not only valid when abroad, I do all of this at home as well and so should you!
Besides local wine, me and Dan set out to find some spanish craft beer which we finally managed to do at a beer craft store called Beer Shooter and we also had some good, local beer at Bonobo Beer Garden, located in a small square in Alicante.
I saw this fox ↑ (I love foxes) and immediately fell in love with the labels designed by the amazing artist Martutxa Casares, I plan to buy a print or two from her. Of course I had to try the beer too and the pumpkin ale from Althaia Brewery was not only beautiful but also extremely tasty!
Besides exploring Alicante, we found there’s a lot to do if you want a break from walking the streets and browsing stores and restaurants. For example there is a fortification on a hill in the center of the city called Santa Bárbara Castle that we hiked up to one day, to learn more about the history of Alicante and also to enjoy the view.
To see the mountains everywhere was lovely. I enjoy exploring cities and I love forests but there is something special about mountains… Anyways, another nice thing about Alicante is that the ocean is also very accessible and easy to reach by foot.
It was a bit too cold when we were there but if you want to combine city life with swimming or maybe sailing, as well as have the mountains a few hours away – this is the place for you!
Oh how lovely it was to walk barefoot and feel the sand between my toes! There’s nothing I miss more during winter than feeling the earth agains my skin.
I am pleased with how light I was able to travel this time. We spent a a whole week in Spain and I fit everything I needed in my Smith The Roll Pack 25L from Millican ↓ It feels really good not needing to check in any luggage. This was also the perfect pack to use when exploring Alicante since I often brought snacks, water, my tripod, a notebook and extra layers.
Traveling with you and the new friends I’ve made through you was a wonderful experience and you are an amazing adventure partner, exploring Alicante with you was so much fun and I look forward to many more journeys together with you! ♥︎