Last week around this time I was walking the streets of Barcelona with two friends. Ten hours before that, we had no idea Barcelona was where we were going to end up. We had booked a city trip with srprs.me, an organisation which allows you to book city trips etc. without knowing where you’re going until the day you leave. As you can read here, here, here and here I’m not the type of person who goes without planning. It stresses me the hell out. Yet I loved this trip more than I ever thought I would – and this is why.
A question I got a lot was “Aren’t you worried you’re going somewhere you don’t want to go?” Honestly: no, not at all. Why not? Well, firstly, when booking the trip we were able to mention some places we’d seen before, so we wouldn’t have to worry about being sent to Athens again, for example. Secondly, I made the conscious decision for myself that I really didn’t care where we were sent. I’ve been wanting to see Europe for a while, and I wasn’t planning on wasting a single second on whining about the destination, for I knew that wherever they sent us it would be worth seeing, or they wouldn’t have sent us there in the first place.
I never thought I’d say it, but not knowing where were going frankly only had advantages. For example, we had nothing to prepare. The days before the city trip we just went about our lives as usual: we went to class, did our homework, studied and went out to a Halloween thing. There wasn’t a single part of our minds stressing out about what we were going to do or see on our city trip, because we had no clue what city we’d be ending up in – we’d just see what came across our path when we got there. And, honestly, take it from a planner-person like myself, it was pure bliss. All we had to do was pack our bags regarding to the weather forecast we could find on the srprs.me site, and figure out a way to get to the airport on time. That’s all.
Once we were ready to go exploring – and I consciously use “exploring” because that’s what it truly was: we had no clue where we were going – we just took out a map and went with where our intuition took us first. We ended up on the Ramblas, which was a nice start, and we just went from there. We were a bit worried we wouldn’t see “all” of Barcelona in the two and a half days we had, but we didn’t think about it that much. We just went where our feet and our intuition took us, and we saw the most beautiful things: not only Park Guëll and the Sagrada Familia, but also the less touristy gardens and the steeper streets leading to smaller and less-known squares.
Three days and about 90,000 steps later, we were back at the airport after having seen most of Barcelona. It was an amazing experience, and even though I still felt the muscle aches in my legs three days after the trip, I’d drop everything right now to do it again. My friends and I had the time of our lives, and we’ll most certainly be doing it again once we can.
- L. Parole