I love singles awareness day. Never fails to help me remember who all is dating someone and who is living there 20’s single af. Cupid, please steer clear for a few more years.
Since I am single, which apparently means I am alone in this world on February 14th of every year, I decided to make a list of 5 things better than roses on Valentine’s Day.
My Buzzfeed quiz even confirms my assumptions.
You can commit to a 7 mile hike for only 6 hours
- Today, on Valentine’s Day, I took a bus with about 35 girls and 4 guys to Sierra Aracena (What an incredible ratio for Vday). Sierra Aracena is a remote area about 1.5 hours out from where I live in Seville. It rained the night before and that morning so I spent 6 hours dodging muddy puddles and trying to not slip. I don’t hike often, so I wore my non-slip resistant Nikes and hoped for the best. As rain turned into hail, my balance went down hill. However, I managed to stay on both feet! My calves feel the burn and that’s about all the hot, steamy sensation I need in my life right now ;).
- Senderismo Sierra Aracena was an unbelievable experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. As weird as this may sound, the rainy, cloudy weather made the hike even better.
Dogs showing you they love you
- What’s better than a dog running up to you with his/her tail wagging? I would take that over a Valentine any day! During the hike I saw about 6 dogs- Spanish mastiffs, a Chihuahua mix (I named him Frank), and something that looks like an Spanish Goldendoodle and a mop. One of the Spanish Mastiffs followed us along the fence until we were out of his sight, it was adorable and I started tearing up. Tory told me to cut that shit out- that’s why I love her.
Watching people of different languages bond over a common interest
- The group took a quick break to get coffee with Baileys and to rest our legs from the uphill climb because it was “vertical as shit”-Tory Green. I finished my 1 euro cup of coffee and walked out of the little bar called Mason el Maño. The 4 guys that came on the hike were outside in the plaza playing soccer with 4 Spanish boys- between the ages of 4-7. The four year old was absolutely adorable. He scored a goal through the middle of the park bench and his teammate, 1 of the 4 guys on my program, held him up in the air in celebration. This little boy had the biggest smile on his face and they exchanged a high five. Spanglish was alive and well here and I had a smile on my face the whole time I watched the pickup fútbol game. Eventually, the guides made us leave, but we could of sat there all afternoon.
Not falling into a stream= Big Accomplishment
- Feeling so proud of yourself when you walk across a narrow log without falling into the rushing water below you. I can’t take all of the credit for this… the guide did hold me hand because I was too scared, but hey teamwork works for me. Also, I was climbing over a fence (rather than going over a wall half the size) because something in my head told me that was a better idea… Anyways, a girl I’ve never met ran over to me asking if I needed help and immediately took my hand. May seem trivial, but saved me from breaking an ankle!
Spending time learning about YOU and others
- I believe in the philosophy that every time you try something new you learn something new about yourself. Yes, I’ve hiked before, but never in Spain in Sierra Aracena. Never with a Spanish guide who I had to listen to very closely to understand everything he is saying. I have never gone hiking with a group of people I have never met. I have never seen a town with only two teeny bars in the middle of no where. I learned that I can be in silence and enjoy it. I learned that I love, love, love the company of people from Minnesota. I learned how to say waterfall in Spanish-Caterattas. I learned about different types of mushrooms that we stumbled upon. I verified that nature soothes and calms me down better than anything.
- Exploring is incredible. Try an “Alayna Brown” and get out of your comfort zone.
Needless to say, I didn’t get a rose or the final rose, but I did get pricked my a few thorns and that’s good enough for me. I’ll continue to commit to the mountains.
Next on the books: 5 mile hike in Sierra Norte and a 1o mile hike in Cádiz.