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I was sitting on the plane, about to put my phone in flight mode, when I got an IG message that fuelled my daydreams for the next few hours. It was Christian. For those of you who might have skipped that part of my round-the-world journey, Christian was the handsome German man I met in the Alps of Switzerland, with whom I shared a very short, yet utopian romance (go read that steamy blog post here). He was in Spain now, in Barcelona – where I was heading. Flashbacks of the night in my hotel in Zermatt rushed back to my mind, making my face flush and my smile light up the whole row of seats. Unfortunately, my excitement was quickly dampened by the realization that he was just there on holiday – and his flight out was that very same day. Still, it was enough to bring back tons of good memories, from our moments together to the overall feeling I had during my whole journey. I spent the rest of the flight thinking about all my past adventures and priming myself for all the amazing ones to come. Hopefully, maybe one of them would give me another vacation fling, with a man as amazing.

My arrival in Barcelona felt like a breath of fresh air. The excitement of traveling alone surged through me as I stepped off the plane and into this vibrant city. The Gothic Quarter, with its labyrinth of narrow, winding streets, called to me like a siren song calls a sailor at sea. I wandered aimlessly, savoring the freedom to explore every corner at my own pace -finally finding back that feeling of complete happiness. The centuries-old buildings, with their intricate facades and hidden courtyards, felt like something out of a psychadelic dream. Every corner I turned, I felt transported and amazed. And, from the moment I tasted my first bite of tapas, I was completely hooked. Each meal was a revelation, a celebration of flavors that seemed to dance on my palate. Something I wasn't shy to welcome after all the tasteless food I had in England.

I fell in love with the spanish food just as deeply as I fell for their architecture. Gaudí’s masterpieces, like the Sagrada Família and Park Güell, left me in awe. There was a whimsical beauty to his work that made me feel like a child discovering magic for the first time. Leaving Barcelona was harder than I expected. It had only been a few days, but the city had woven itself into my heart. 

Valencia, my next stop, felt underwhelming by comparison. The city seemed vast and disconnected, with the places I wanted to see scattered far apart. Navigating the commute felt like a chore, and I struggled to find the same sense of wonder I had in Barcelona. But as the days passed, Valencia began to reveal its charms. The food, once again, was a highlight. From paella to horchata, each dish was a testament to the region's heritage. Slowly, my initial disappointment gave way to appreciation. Valencia might not have had the immediate charm of Barcelona, but it had a quieter, more subtle beauty that grew on me.

For fun, and maybe with that same deep-rooted desire to connect, I opened Tinder one night. I was curious to see what the local scene was like, but after scrolling through profiles, I quickly realized there wasn't anyone who caught my interest -not only for a fuck.

As my time in Spain drew to a close, I felt a mix of sadness and anticipation. Barcelona had definitely captured my heart and Valencia had won me over in its own way. Now, I was ready to embark on the next part of my journey: a part that I knew was going to be more stressful -but also even more rewarding.

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