As I stood close to the peak of Mt Teide, the remarkable volcano in Tenerife, I suddenly found myself in utter awe. As I looked over my left shoulder, the blue sky was transforming from a sunset to a streak of purple, pink, and the green. Along my right, the sun was beginning to melt into the sky.
The clouds above started to quickly disappear and the sun that initially stung my eyes no longer hurt. Suddenly, I was staring at one of the most outstanding sights I have ever seen - the sea of clouds, also known as the El Mar de Nubes.
Several streaks of clouds started to blend together across the South Atlantic sea, covering valleys and the mountainous landscape of the Tenerife island. Clouds travelled like waves, crashing into each other softly but briskly as well.
Without any warning, the sky turned orange from yellow and before blinking I was surrounded by darkness standing on a mountain. Approximately 12,000 feet in the air, I had never felt so connected to the earth or close to the ground.
Of all the places I have seen, Tenerife is undoubtedly the most fascinating of the locations. Not only was I able to experience the changes in northern and southern Spanish cultures with drastic weather alterations, but I also learned more about the Spanish language, the Spanish heritage, and Tenerife's local inhabitants. I also took part in one of the most incredible activities, a guided visit of the Teide Astrological Observatory.
As one of the younger travellers, the trip to Tenerife provided me with the opportunity to experience an in-depth study of Spain by speaking Spanish in real-life settings and exposing myself to a unique culture as compared to the US culture.
In fact, I even mustered up the courage to speak to a local resident in Spanish during one of my evenings there. Little did I know that the five-minute interaction with my school-learned Spanish would result in a one-hour conversation about the importance of immersion.
It was highly exciting to learn about the culture in Tenerife and to gain an idea of what true Spanish conversations are like. My conversation with the local was respectful and fluid, making it much better. I did not expect to make such a meaningful connection in Tenerife, let alone have it turn into an interesting hour-long conversation.
The interaction provided me with the sense that Tenerife locals are welcoming, kind people and I left the island with a memorable impression. I am thrilled that my US classroom-learned Spanish translated to a real-life experience and I cannot wait to practice these skills in a different country!!
To find out more, visit Tenerife Forum or you can find their popular Tenerife Facebook page.