For The Sake of Your Soul, Venture Out! 

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Thank You Barcelona!

IMG_1390What I  want to share in this blog  today is that I have had a very heavy heart these past week weeks as well. In the mist of planning my voyage and this wonderful experience my mother-in-law has also become very ill. I admire this woman very much so it’s been very humbling, she is truly the strongest woman I have ever met both physically and emotionally. I only wish I could bring her with me… Her life journey and strength is reminding me to do things “my way” as she would proudly say, but now more than ever. As we talk and discuss life I truly see how much women sacrifice for everyone and my goodness how honorable to do it with so much grace! I only hope to be half as strong as her in life and feel so blessed to be her friend.

I plan to enjoy my adventure whole heartedly and I truly have fallen in love with it! I enjoy writing in a way I haven’t since a little girl. Life at times has a way of tarnishing dreams and life goals as much as being amazing. I remember sitting as a little girl in my dad’s farm in the Dominican Republic writing poems, writing ideas of what I wanted to do and be as an adult. Then my parents separated very abruptly and my childhood filled with dreams, joy and a strong sense of security suddenly became a fight for survival…It’s all a very long story… But I now understand how my secure space out of no where was non existent and that it effected me deeply and made me leave a big part of my shining soul in that farm, in that amazing place; but my mother-in-law’s strength and this trip are teaching me that it is time to move on. Writing was liberating to me, starting this blog has truly brought Annamaria back to Anna. I feel myself in a way I haven’t in decades, true to me, true to what and who I am, confident and true to my soul! Barcelona in a very strange way you are helping me move forward, teaching me to leave hurt behind and to learn from the past and never look back! To be strong again and to do it with grace and honor as my mother-in-law did and continues to do. Thank you Barcelona for reigniting this fire in my soul!

Barcelona & Beyond

 

As I develop my blueprint to Barcelona I realized how centrally located the city is and its proximity to many beautiful villages along Costa Brava, Mediterranean Sea. I started looking into southeaster France, comparing modes of transportation with cost and I must say I am amazed at how affordable and doable it will be to wonder off Costa Brava.  I started looking into TGV and Rail Europe schedules from Barcelona to southeastern France. Turns out some towns in southeastern France are as close a two hour train ride!  There are just so many quaint and beautiful small villages… Sete, Bezeiers, Montepellier, Bamyuls-s-mur, Collioure and Remy-de-Provence.

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In the Costa Brava coast along Spain I have found Cadaques.  An attractive little town that is filled with charm.   I stumbled upon it as I researched Picasso and learned more about his life and personal journeys.  Cadaques was one of towns he chose to summer in.   The town is beautiful, very close to Barcelona and filled with history and culture. Finding this gem so close to Barcelona made me wonder off into other towns.  Among other things, this beautiful beach town village is filled with color and art.
cadaques-vista

 

Next and my last tentative stop will be Collioure, France.  What a spectacular little village!  Cannot wait to set my bare feet into its beautiful beach. Sad I won’t get to see their Saint Vincent Festival, but oh so looking forward to walking those wonderful little streets.  With its wealthy artistic history and its mountain vines, this quaint little village will be sure to surprise me in many ways! Very please with my itinerary and longing to explore Barcelona and beyond.  This little adventure of mine is already becoming a life changing event and I love it!

How to Backpack in Style

If you checked out my vlog last week you know I have decided to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel and it is now booked! So cool!  It’s a couple city blocks away from Bari Gotic, Barcelona’s gothic quarters. Super exciting since it’s such a central location and close to so many sites I’ve plan to see.
Nowonderlust filled annaw it dawns on me that I need to start planning out the specifics of this wonder filled adventure of mine…   I am NOT a light packer, so first on my to do list is to figure out which carry on is most convenient, comfortable and compact for me and my needs.   I can’t afford to loose my luggage so I don’t want to check anything in.   I contemplated between a small rolling carry on vs a backpack, but a backpack makes more sense for my travels since I hope and plan to add a few more stops to my itenerary in my upcoming voyage to Spain.  Barcelona is so close to southeastern France and accessible by the TGV train that it would just take two to three hours to travel there.  I’m not sure if I will stay overnight in France so a backpack is more convenient and practical for this open-ended journey.
As I searched online for different backpacks I ran into a ton of options, but they were mostly very masculine which is not what I’m going for.  I want a backpack, but I do want to be a bit stylish and feminine which brought me to #travelfashiongirl.  What a neat blog!  Excactly what I needed to help guide me in finding the essentials to pack smart and with style, you go girl!  If like me, you have decided to live your dream of traveling the world this site is super helpful for wonderlust filled women, I highly recommend you check her out.  For ideas on what clothing to bring and how to minimize my packing I found #herpackinglist to be helpful, check it out.
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After looking at many options, I’ve decided on an Osprey Backpack, the Aura 65 seems to have everything I’m looking for.  They had several color options, but this teal was my fave.  It’s stylish, colorful and very durable so I can use it for all my future trekking ventures.  The price is on the high end, but I plan to use it pretty frequently so it made more sense for me to invest in better quality gear.   After checking out #travelfashiongirl and #herpackinglist I realize I have much more to plan out than just my choice of carry on luggage… I’ll be needing gadgets and day to day essentials which for a woman is always a very long almost never ending list.  How will I condense this to a smart and useful list?  I have no idea… Off I go to putting that together now.  @annaswonderlust http://www.annaswonderlust.com