I first visited Spain during my study abroad program in college, spending half a year in Valencia while fulfilling my international studies degree. What started as a curiosity turned into one of the most formative experiences of my life, as I began to appreciate and understand the benefits of experiencing Spanish culture first hand. During my time in Valencia I became a tapas aficionado, a paella expert, and a Rioja connoisseur. I also ventured further afield to explore Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands as well Porto in Portugal. I befriended local Valencianos, I attended a football match at the Mestalla… I went native.
As I became more accustomed to life in Spain, I started to develop a deeper understanding of myself - one of the many benefits of travel. Most recently I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail with my dog by my side.
I'll never forget when…
I’ve always been intrigued by the Moors’ influence on Spain yet never felt like I understood it until I stepped inside the Alhambra in Granada. I’ll never forget the moment I first laid my eyes on the intricate geometric designs that fill this historic treasure and the feelings it evoked in me. As I advanced from room to room I was struck by the sheer beauty of the architecture; I had never before been moved by a building in this way. It was as if I had immersed myself in a country within a country, and that was truly unforgettable.