I was walking to class early last week, talking online with one of my best friends, Matilda Soderlund from Sweden, on Facebook. She told me that she was going to Spain in a week and that I should come. I had a few days off school so, why not? You only live once, right? =] So, tickets booked, and my impromptu week trip to Spain was scheduled.
Needless to say, I am in love with Spain, specifically the Catalonia region where I have spent the majority of my time. There is just an infinite amount of both developed and undeveloped limestone cliffs and the serene landscape is breathtakingly vast. Every time I travel to Spain I fidget with excitement. The anticipation of feeling an undefined looming adventure about to be had fills my heart and consumes me with excitement. I cannot wait to be outside, to be rock climbing, to be with my friends, to be breathing fresh air, and to be living my next adventure.
Though, I had not been home to DC since a few days in November, so I decided to sandwich my trip to Spain with two days at home. Time enough to have a restful sleep in my own bedroom, play with my aging pup, and eat my heart content with some home cooked food… Including my dad’s prime grilling! Unpack some boxes, fill up a suitcase, and I’m off to the airport. SPAIN!
Traveling to Spain is freedom for me. It signifies me returning to what I love most. Whenever I go to Spain I am taken away by the fervent passion I feel for not only challenging myself on new climbs to try, but also by the sheer feeling that I have when I start to click back in to climbing outdoors and can exactly feel the texture and shape of the rock formations, my fingers mold into the rock, and gravity fades away into this element that seems irrelevant. It’s a feeling of control and certainty. When I feel this weightless catharsis in climbing, I feel the ultimate pleasure in life. Everything becomes possible in my mind and I just want to breathe in the adventure. I am free.
While my trip was short, it was enough time for me to realize this sensation of exhilarating passion for the outdoors. I cannot fathom a more liberating experience than living life outdoors with my close friends, challenging myself both mentally and physically on world-class routes, and overlooking the lush green Spanish countryside from the top of the mountain. I feel sheer bliss. And I am more motivated than ever to be back!!!
I climbed a total of five days while in Spain- all the days I was there except for one rest day after the first two days of climbing in order to rest off the jet lag. The first days after a flight and after not climbing outside (or not too much climbing at all actually due to midterm exams) are generally my adjustment days where I feel a little weak and tired. I don’t stress this so much because I’ve learned that it is quite normal. Having a tight schedule makes this difficult because more often than not I will be jet-lagged during my short time-framed trips; however, I adjusted in to the rhythm and had a great day following my rest. I sent two 8c’s in one day, one of them being on my first try, and then I onsighted a satisfying amount of pitches at an area I had never climbed at – Terradettes.
To cap off the trip, Matilda, Arjan, and I decided to take “a muerte” and living large to the max and we drove to Barcelona after climbing, met up with our Spanish friends including Edu Marin, Gerard, Jaume, Christina, and a motivated group of others to hit the discotec night scene. I then went from there to the airport. No hotel room necessary =]
Now I am on the airplane, tired but high on life. I feel rejuvenated and ready for my next adventure. I have a lot of school-work to do now too, so, I guess I’ve got to get to writing what will be graded. =]
On Thursday I fly out to St. Louis to give a talk and to teach a clinic at Washington University through Professional Climbers International (PCI) with Kevin Jorgeson and Daniel Woods.
Time for studying!
Xxx! Love S