Following Your Instinct – Alicante, Spain
I have always been an avid global traveler with the last five years shifting my focus to wellness travel as an important part of my healing journey. I simply wanted more from my travel; a good old all-inclusive resort would not do it for me anymore. I wanted something more, to experience body, mind, and spirit rejuvenation, meet new like-minded people, eat and drink healthy and be inspired.
In February 2019, while casually talking to someone I just met at the social gathering in Canada, I learned about Alicante, a true hidden gem, a picturesque port city in Spain’s southeastern area of Costa Blanca. I’ve been to Spain a few times while living in Europe many years ago, but never heard of it. The more I’ve learned about the place and its surrounding areas, I instinctively knew I had to go there. And go Alone.
Well, it is important to mention that I am happily married, a mother of two, almost grown-up kids and I don’t normally go on vacations alone since…well actually, never. However, I was in desperate need of some Me Travel Time, self-reflection, and journaling while exploring a new wellness idea in Spain. Moreover, I was determined to go on a budget but have a grand time. The power of manifesting my future proved to be true in my life, once again.
Fast forward, two months after the above-mentioned conversation, very excited, I have arrived at the Alicante airport, via Zurich, Switzerland. I took a short public transit from the airport straight to my rented room at the shared apartment located in one of the oldest buildings in the city center, a few steps the famous Mercado (Food Market).
The accommodation was decent and I met some interesting people while staying there. Since I was determined to practice my newly acquired Spanish language skills, I started chatting right away with a friendly staff at the next-door café, while waiting for my accommodation check-in time. That cute little café-bar became my hang-out place for a daily espresso, late afternoon meals, a place to journal, connect with family via free WIFI, or just talk to locals.
The next seven days I spent relaxing, letting go of any worries and schedule, planning my next day, just the night before, and allowing days to unfold as they may. I walked the small city many times, enjoying a huge palm tree-lined plazas, wonderful parks and its old town, Barrio de la Santa Cruz, its narrow streets, colored houses, and fantastic scenery. I loved a slow lifestyle, very relaxing. I even got to know a local hairdresser and her staff and decided to do my hair there. I saw a local wedding and observed some new unusual customs.
Check out some of my favorite local attractions in the beautiful Alicante:
- Explanada – Promenade by the see where I walked and people watched almost every day. A great exercise too.
- Cathedral San Nicolás -a 17th-century church that’s known for its Spanish architecture, marble stairways, and sandstone façade; I participated in a magnificent Easter evening mass there.
- The Canalejas park with impressive rubber plant over 100 years old, I have never seen anything like this.
- Marina Deportiva del Puerto, a city marina, is great for people watching and cocktails at the ‘Sotto’ restaurant.
- I walked up long stairs to the top of the hill some 160 meters above the city to the fortress: Castillo de Santa Bárbara, with 360-degree breathtaking views, the special place of history to contemplate life.
- I loved my morning daily walks along the Playa del Postiguet, a city beach, and enjoy local artists and Spanish coffee, while listening to live Andalusian guitar performances. All of this is for free.
- I even dared to take a local tram out of the city and visited a nearby San Juan beach, scenic stretch of 7 km white sand and local restaurants. This is where I had the pleasure of taking the wellness course in Spanish, offered by the wonderful local Mindfulness Yoga Teacher and Holistic Life Coach. I was super proud to be able to follow most of the class in Spanish and only had to take a peek around a few times when I didn’t understand instructions to see what other participants were doing and try to mimic. Ok, it was more than a few times and the instructor spoke English too, but still, it was quite an accomplishment I thought!
- My final excursion was about 1.5 hours outside of Alicante on the tram along the sea coast to the Altea, a gorgeous old town. I loved its medieval cobbled streets, its palm-aligned seafront, and the famous Church of the Archangel Saint Michael, situated up in the hills. The magnificent church is built largely from wood and was designed to be a copy of a 17th-century church in Russia. It was a very deep spiritual experience attending a mass with the local people. I felt so much at peace.
My 7-day trip flu by fast and I managed to stay on my small budget, getting the most of the experiences for free or at a low cost. For example, enjoying a local flamenco show for the price of a drink, with a drink actually included; eating a fresh food bought at the local supermarket or taking advantage of daily ‘tourist special’ 4 pm dinner offered in most restaurants. That mid-day meal for me was a fantastic 3 course Mediterranean fresh food and a drink for the price of one regular meal.
Traveling alone in Spain, as a woman has been nothing but a positive experience for me; with respectful, warm, and helpful people who seemed to appreciate my open heart and attempt to speak the local language.
It was a memorable and fulfilling Me Time! I do plan to return to the gorgeous Alicante and share my experience with people who dare to follow their instincts. Click here and fill in the form, if you are interested in joining me next time!