Our last city!

It’s bittersweet to be in Barcelona because of the short amount of time we have to spend here and because it means our adventure comes to an end.

Barcelona is a city for artists. It’s beautiful here: graffiti walls, artisan shops on every corner, plazas lined with painters and streets filled with music.

When we arrived we immediately ate lunch and did some exploring. Our hostel is located on Placa Reial, the center of Barcelona’s most popular area. We were not too far from any street markets or the ocean. Perfect!

We began our evening with a pub crawl. It needs to be renamed to all-the-free-shots-til-you-die crawl. Every bar we went to gave us free shots. We even did a flaming shot. One of the bars we went to had more than 600 shots.

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We’re pretty sure the bartenders have no idea what is what, they just make whatever they feel like. We had 3 different shots, and one was called “The Harry Potter” that sparked like a wand when he lit them on fire. But it didn’t taste as exciting as it looked…

There were a lot of guys attending the pub crawl, mostly from Canada, Australia, Argentina and America. We also spent a lot of our time with a girl from China. She’s traveling solo, so we mother-ducked her while we were out.

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We went back to our hostel for their “happy hour” (at midnight) and left around one in the morning to go out to a popular club (clubs open around 2). With our Aussie friend, we hopped into the cab and headed out, not returning home until after three. We think. It was all a blur.

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In the morning we visited La Sagrada Familia. It’s a huge church in the north of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece began in 1882. He took over the project design in 1883, fully knowing that he would not live to see its completion. In fact, at the time of his death, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Currently, it is still being built, and depends on private donations and tourism money to continue the process. There is an estimated completion date of 2026, the centennial of Antoni Gaudi’s death.

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Afterward, we headed back toward our area of town and did some light shopping and wandered the streets of Barcelona.

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We spent a lot of time in small cluttered shops in tiny alleyways, hoping to discover buried treasures.

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The shops were amazing, and our favorite shop was full of handmade items from local artisans. The girl working in the shop was so passionate about the artists that were featured, and she took the time to take us around to each different art piece, describing the time it took and the process behind it.

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This trip has been more than amazing.

Here’s a quick recap:

We’ve become experts at public transportation, navigating foreign streets, map reading, avoiding hagglers, making new friends, identifying accents and spending way too much money. Cori tripped so many times that Jordan stopped counting. We visited 10 countries (England, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City, France, Monaco and Spain) and traveled to and through so many cities we lost count. We walked so many miles that if we added them up, we could probably walk across the Atlantic and back home.

We literally walked around the outside of an entire country, got caught in a blizzard high in the Swiss Alps, biked through Amsterdam in the rain, went canyoning in the icy waters of Switzerland, drank wine endorsed by the Pope in the South of France, met Mark Dantonio’s cousin atop St. Peter’s Basilica and made friends from Canada, Argentina, China, Australia and Sweden.

We almost missed our flight to France, got turned around on way too many trains and trams, missed a ferry to Amsterdam, pet goats and ponies (and talked to some cows), talked sports with cabbies, ate a disgusting amount of Nutella, mastered showers that looked like they should be a part of a nuclear cleaning site, and muddied our shoes to the brink of throwing them away. Yet, through it all, we never said a bad word to each other. Overall, and despite the small hiccups, we would definitely call it successful. Traveling throughout Europe with nothing but a backpack and your best friend is a life-changing experience. It is stressful, exciting, jaw-dropping, beautiful, terrifying and adrenaline-pumping—all at the same time. Yet we wouldn’t change a single thing about our trip. Being able to experience this together was so incredible that it’s hard to put in words. The memories we have of this trip will be with us forever. And the memories that weren’t “blog-approved material” or the little things that happened between trains, platforms and hostel bunks will always be with us too.

There’s never a better time than now to travel. So, quit making excuses for yourself. Life will still be there when your plane touches down at home. So will your friends, boyfriends, family, dogs, your favorite restaurants and your weekend bars blaring “today’s hit song.”

We can’t paint you a picture of how beautiful the Swiss Alps or the French coastline are or describe what it’s like to to get sun burnt on a topless beach. We can’t capture in a photo what it’s like to laugh to the point of tears with utter strangers or attempt to sing a song in another language. There are no words to explain what it’s like to be lost in the clouds of a mountain or the pain in your ass after falling asleep on train station floors for hours.

Traveling can define your life. It’s surely defined ours. It makes you laugh and cry (and ooh and ahh). It stress you out beyond belief. But it also connects you to others in a way you can’t possibly be connected by sitting on your couch, channel surfing to pass time.

Just GO and don’t come back for a while. Explore. Chase sunsets and horizons. Explore. Get lost. Explore. Explore. And wander. Wander with no expectations or obligations. Just a makeshift agenda and a hunger for spontaneity.

They say all good things must come to an end.

But we don’t think so, because at least we always have each other, and as long as we are planning adventures together, even in our hometowns something unexpected and exciting is bound to happen. We think we’ve exceeded expectations. Stay tuned.

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Always craving spontaneity (and our next adventure),

C&J

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