A serious case of the travel bug
Symptoms of the travel bug include: a sense of amazement at one’s surroundings, attempting to speak in foreign languages, insight into how others live, hiking to remote places, occasional adventures, trying new foods and hours spent on public transportation. If left untreated, the travel bug can lead to: spending one’s savings on plane tickets, living out of a backpack, leaving family and friends behind to move abroad or even truly being able to enjoy the here and now.
As my flight from Madrid touched down in Chicago, I realized that I had been infected. I had caught it. The travel bug. I had just spent an incredible semester in Granada, Spain studying Spanish, learning about southern Spanish culture and becoming a more global citizen. By the time that the wheels hit the tarmac in Chicago, I had already decided to travel again, as soon as possible.
Living in Granada was the springboard that launched me into the abroad life: living abroad 365 days a year. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to live and work in Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Spain (two more times) and now Australia. It was in Granada where I fell in love with being out of my comfort zone and living in a fulfilling, meaningful way.
Granada is magical. Here’s why.
The scenery. Granada is nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After I evacuated Egypt (long story) I ended up going back to Granada and spending a lot of time hiking. Wander only 15 minutes out of the city and suddenly you are surrounded by olive groves, flowers, ice-cold streams, abandoned stone buildings and endless skies. It’s a hiker’s or mountain biker’s dream.
The architecture. Granada is filled with stunning examples of Islamic architecture. The most beautiful examples are found in the Alhambra, but a walk through the city will leave you enchanted. There are endless patios and winding streets to explore, and you can easily imagine what life was like when Granada was a city of grandeur.
The tapas. Granada is known for its tapas; small dishes that are given with each drink you order. While some cities in Spain charge extra for their tapas, they are free in Granada. They are also HUGE. You can throw back a few drinks, eat your way around town, and still have a wallet full of euros left at the end of the night. My favorite place is called Um Kalthum at it’s located on Calle Jardines near the Cathedral.
Flamenco. Andalucía is the cradle of flamenco so it’s not a surprise that professional flamenco dancers, singers and musicians call Granada home. I took flamenco lessons during my time there with Chua Alba and it was the most difficult dance form I’ve ever tried! Don’t miss out on a flamenco performance while you’re there
The sense of adventure. Granada gave me a serious case of the travel bug because some of my first adventures took place there. I climbed up a dry riverbed and found a flock of goats, watched as a crazed man threw a chair out of his cave-home in Sacramonte, danced until the dawn with a view of the Alhambra and was shown hidden corners of history.
If you ever need advice on what to see or do in Granada, just leave a comment down below.
~ Jamie and David
is an American educator, creator and wellness influencer who has been living the abroad life since 2009! She is bird obsessed, always a travel jinx and pays the bills by teaching English. Learn how to get abroad and live your best life once you're there!