un viaje dulce

A sweet journey. Over the past few months, I spent a lot of my time wandering, seeking, and reconnecting. It's crazy to believe that it's already well into September. It's harder to fathom that I'm already halfway through college. As cliche as it sounds, time really flies.

I took a break from blogging to focus on improving my academics, bettering my relationships, and taking the liberty to think about myself as well. I also have been struggling with the direction of this blog. But, this summer, I was very blessed to be able to travel to many countries around the world for opportunities that were once in a lifetime. And through these experiences abroad, I have learned so much more than what I've been soaking in from school and opened my eyes to many different ideas and values.

I am currently studying in Tokyo and will be returning to the States at the end of November. It's been a wild ride, but the creative juices are flowing back and I can say that I am in a much healthier and happier position than where I was merely months ago. Feeling quite grateful and hopeful!

Mid-June, I embarked on my first ever journey to Europe to join my bold uncle on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage across Spain. You can check out his own blog here to learn more about what the purpose of this trip was and to watch the video diaries he recorded throughout our walk. Over the course of five days, I walked 73 miles and drank 15 liters of water! Nope, I still can't believe I did all of that.

Before and after the pilgrimage, my family and I were able to tour the beautiful cities of Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona. I was able to look around alone for periods of time, and that's when I truly fell in love with solo traveling.

What an adventure it was.

Here are my attempts to document this trip with a phone camera.

Starry Night Over the Rhône (September 1888)
Vincent Van Gogh

Impressionism and post-impressionism are my favorite art movements, and Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists of this era. I had the chance to visit the Musée d'Orsay and observe the likes of Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Degas, Manet, and more. The painting above is my particular favorite of Van Gogh, the lesser known Starry Night. If you look towards the bottom right, there's a couple strolling on the river bank. I think it's said that depicting the night is both exciting and challenging, so I absolutely love Van Gogh's perspective of light in darkness.

Good food and good talks. What I miss the most. I've learned that the people you meet have an important role in shaping your experiences wherever you go.

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers, and I found them everywhere in Spain! Such gorgeous shades. I also bumped into many adorable doggies like the cutie below.

That's me and my bright scarlet hiking backpack! I was probably cringing from the painful uphill (I had a sprained foot at the time).

This is one of Antoni Gaudí's numerous masterpieces, inside Casa Batlló. It's like a waterfall! After touring Park Güell and la Sagrada Família as well, I can honestly say that Gaudí was a hands down creative genius and that Barcelona is a must for lovers of all art mediums.

During this incredible trip, I was able to sit for two hours in front of the Eiffel Tower to watch the sunset, witness the vivid colors of Madrid, see mountains peeking above the clouds in southern Spain, and drink sweet cerveza on the beaches of Barcelona. I also miss getting delicious free bread every meal.

Thank you for the love, Europe.

Until next time!
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