I wont lie, before I took off for my trip I truly believed that I would find the love of my life. You know the story, 22-year-old college girl with no direction in life sets out for a big adventure and what does she find? Love. So cliché. I suppose its fair to say all of my expectations were built from what I had seen in movies.
I didn’t find my future husband.
But I did fall in love. Over and over again.
I know what you’re thinking. No, it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t scandalous at all. There were not multiple romantic encounters with others.
There were places. There were sights. There were conversations. There were epiphanies and punches of reality.
In my second week of travel, I found myself surrounded by beautiful people who joined me for a hike on Monserrat Peak in Catalonia, Spain. When we arrived to the top we separated and each took some time to spend alone. Some of us read, some of us gazed, I chose to write. After three pages worth of self-reflecting here is what I wrote, “This is life. This is beauty and happiness. Purity. The thin fresh air makes it difficult to breath. But the beauty surrounding makes the struggle non-existent.”
There it was. All my expectations exceeded in that very moment. I hadn’t found the love of my life. I hadn’t become an international pop star. (Remember my quest for my Lizzie McGuire moment?) But I had discovered how to fall in love with everything, how to see beauty in everyone.
Sure, it’s easy to see beauty when sitting at the top of one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. Or, so we would think.. But what makes it beautiful? In reality, it’s a bunch of rocks stacked on top of each other, in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by dirt and hard to breath air, I was gazing at one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.
Then it hit me. This place was one of the most beautiful places I had ever explored because it was the most natural, most calm, most true place I had traveled to. It was real, and it made me feel real. It made me want to search for what makes me my truest self. Perhaps simply being genuine is the greatest love of all.
To learn more about Montserrat Peak, click here––