Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

To truly absorb the culture of a new place, it is best to wander as a silent observer. Today I was able to see a side of Tenerife that most tourists overlook. As I wandered away from the boat, I decided just to walk, unaware of what to expect or where to go. I broke from the pack, which is always fun, even though being together as a group has its benefits. As I wandered, I watched the city come to a life immersed in everyone on their morning routines that they know so well. I saw the congestion of cars, the rushed women in heels, businessmen in suits, dogs being walked, a life that is familiar to most though unique in its own way. As the day grew on and I continued to wander, I started to see the city come to life with the opening of shops and the smell permeating from nearby restaurants. As I sat down for lunch, I made a note to just listen, observe, and appreciate as I was surrounded by local music and the sounds of the city. As I ordered, I was able to learn some Spanish and practice my hand gestures, which are something that I don’t always get to do with a larger group. My theme upon waking up this morning was to try to capture my life and the world around me in a different way. Remembering to stop and appreciate the little things that we often take advantage of, like getting to see the sunrise despite our tired eyes as well as getting to see the sunset and feel each hour of the day by the angle of the sun. As the day comes to a close, I hear the sounds of clean up, and unlike the first few weeks of the trip, I hear teamwork, patience, and innovation which makes me excited to know that those individuals will be part of the crew with me that will cross the Atlantic.