Luis LOPEZ GALAN
Traveling is a way of discovering new horizons, we travel to celebrate that special occasion or just to spend a few days of fun. However, it happens that in certain destinations our perspective gets completely transformed. So, in our way back, instead of memories and photographs, our backpack is filled with new thoughts and ways to think. But for this to happen, we must first leave behind the famous comfort area and take the first step: get lost. That moment when we feel lost in the middle of an Arab medina will be exactly when we will discover that the innocent eyes of a child indicating the path has changed us forever. Close your eyes for a few seconds, take a breath and find a part of yourself that you do not even know.
Although the famous Himalayas stretches across six countries (Bhutan, China, Nepal, Tibet, India and Pakistan), it is maybe Nepal the one it is more commonly related to, perhaps for more sentimental reasons since, as they say in this country, the gods dwell in the Himalayas and thence watch over the lives and souls of the inhabitants, who cohabit in harmony between Hindus and Buddhists. They decorate homes, villages and towns with flowers, prayers, offerings and exotic aromas. That whole world that the traveler thought he or she knew before arriving in Nepal is diluted slowly with the first look at the temples and sacred rivers. Among the tumult, it's easy for them to start feeling overwhelmed in a sort of maze with no exit. However, in the gathering of some solitary temple praying by lush mountains, it will be difficult for the traveler not to notice that something is changing on his/her mind. The journey to your soul has just begun. Enjoy it!
When we speak of finding ourselves, our mind thinks inevitably in rare and exotic destinations. While it is true that in these places we may find it easier to forget the world for a few days, there are many others destinations to do it, even if they are not as opposite as where we usually live. One of those is the Netherlands, but the recommendation is to travel there all alone. Traveling alone implies adventures, spending hours listening to our mind and it also push us to meet new people. Holland is a small country, ideal for touring by train while watching life passing by the windows. In addition, people are open and welcoming there and they live with a variety of nationalities and cultures coming from all over the world. All plans that can be made here are downright useful to stop and think about our own existence: biking tours through green fields; walks in nostalgic villages crossed by water canals, or all the new friends to make every night in the bars of the capital. Lose yourself in the dark streets of Amsterdam and let Holland change you forever.
India is probably the country in which you think when you read the title of this text. For years, the many differences our Western mind can find in its streets and villages has inspired hundreds of travel books and movies. However, this is a country that continues to surprise and that always will. In India everything is multiplied: colors are more vivid, they are everywhere and flood the sight and the horizon of the traveler; strong scents and exotic aromas extend through the streets, markets and houses; dishes and foods with the taste of thousands of expertly mixed spices, and the sounds of cars and crowds are heard day and night. And in all this tumult of feelings, people smile at life enjoying it simply. India's daily humility contrasts with the waste of emotions felt as soon as one steps foot in it.
In Morocco, everything is about learning. From the moment that the first seller receives you with a friendly Inshallah, that word that leaves everything to the divine providence, to the smiles of children to your expression of fear in search of the exit of the medina. Do not be ashamed at all, it has happened to us too. Morocco is a country where life is enjoyed calmly, tranquility is necessary for the hours not to pass on us before we can almost notice them. At any point of its blue and white villages, the aroma and sweet taste of Moroccan mint tea will make you rethink how fast we take the only life we have been given. And this is only the beginning of the lessons...
The Camino de Santiago is a legendary pilgrimage that takes place in northern Spain and it currently continues, stronger than ever. Although many pilgrims still make the way for religious reasons (the route ends at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral), the fact is that a large number of other people do it looking for sensations witnessed by pilgrims since decades. Among the walkers, the ones one will find in the pilgrimage, a kind of brotherhood that leads them to encourage and help at various stages, which develop between greenways, ancient churches, abandoned ruins and streams that have created legends of witches or meigas, as they are known in the area where the road ends. There, in the final stage, the imposing cathedral gives the last breath to some pilgrims in which something has changed forever.