Irene Rausell – From Spain With an Urge to Live
I met Irene during a longer stay in Germany and she quickly became one of my dearest friends. Since meeting we have traveled to five different countries together. With her well-developed curiosity she is not afraid of taking chances and she is always ready for new adventures. Her Spanish passion will inspire you to start an adventure of your own.
1) Who inspired you to travel?
Since I was little, I have looked up to my grandmother. She is now retired and, as she has a lot of free time, she spends it traveling. She used to tell me about her traveling experiences every night. There was a point when I realized that I wanted to be like her and to travel as much as her. She always tells me that you can’t predict anything that happens on a trip and that things will go wrong if you travel, but afterwards, in the moment you remember them, you will be laughing. After some years of traveling, I have realized that it’s true. Things don’t always go as planned, but I those are the things that you will always remember.
2) What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is to end up in a job or place doing something I don’t consider my passion. I am scared of stopping wondering about if that is what I like or not just because I feel comfortable in the situation.
3) What is the most memorable moment you’ve had while traveling?
Actually I could describe a lot of memorable moments that I lived while traveling, but if I had to choose just one I would choose the one that happened in Malta in 2013. I had just finished high school and me and 4 friends decided to go to Malta for a week just to celebrate the end of our studies. While being there, we decided to go to visit the capital city for a day, due to the fact that out apartment was a little bit far away. On our way to the bus we got lost. We didn’t know where we were. Randomly we found a Spanish guy. We asked him where we were and he helped us. At that moment, he told us that he was going with some friends to watch the sunset to a really nice pool and he invited us. We thought about it but we were not very convinced, because we had everything scheduled. But finally we decided to go and to take a little risk. I swear that that was the best evening of my life! It’s that the moment where I’ve realized, that improvised plans are the best ones.
4) Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
I would choose my Danish friend Pou. He is a very adventurous guy that likes to enjoy life and is not scared of doing and trying new things. Pou doesn’t like to follow the crowd and he is always looking for ways of living the life through not normal paths. He is very confident and everything he does he likes to do as well as he can. Although he is Northern European and has a ‘cold character’ at times, and I’m a warm Mediterranean girl, I believe we’re a great team. In the end, we realize that we are not as different as we think.
5) Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without on travels?
My phone. Not for the calls or for the internet, but for the pictures. I love to take pictures, and since I don’t have a proper camera, my phone is my best travel buddy.
6) What does your family and friends say about you travelling so often?
“Irene, do you go to class? When do you have time to study?”
7) If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
“Highly emotional”. As a Spanish girl, I am not scared of my emotions. I live all the experiences to the fullest and I’m a very outgoing and passionate girl.
8) What’s on the top of your bucket list right now?
Going for a volunteering year to Thailand.
9) What is the worst misadventure you’ve had during your travels?
When I was 15 I had to travel to the US by myself. I had to stop in Paris and take another flight. It was my first time being in a foreign country all alone, and I didn’t like the experience. I had to go to pick up my suitcase and pass the security control again, because I was also changing the flight company. In the security control, they had to open my bag and check all my belongings. I didn’t speak French or English so much, so I just had a very bad time understanding them. They kept me there for a while because I was under age and with nobody. I was about to lose my flight and I was feeling so stressed. Finally, they let me go, but I had troubles with the visa papers. But I got in. Once I was in the plane, I started to relax after that stressful moment.
10) What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I would say “Haggis”, a Scottish dish containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs).
11) How do you make money and control your expenses to be on the road so often?
Since I am a university student, I just make money with mini jobs in the afternoons or during the weekends and holidays.
12) Have you ever traveled alone, why or why not? If yes, where did you go the first time you did?
Well, since I was little I have always wanted to go to summer camps alone. I didn’t like when friends came with me, because then I was not forced to meet new people. But I guess that the first time I traveled all alone was when I was 15 and I went to the US for an exchange year. I had to make new friends, live in a different culture and get used to a new family. I was so excited, but I the night before I had some doubts whether I would be able to make it or not. Finally, everything turned out good and I had one of the most amazing years of my life.
13) Tell me about the craziest or most unforgettable night out during your travels.
Wow. I have quite a lot of crazy nights to explain, but definitely one of the most unforgettable nights out was in Lyon. I was visiting a friend who was doing an Erasmus year there. He just told us (me and my friend Ines who was visiting him with me) that we were going to a friend’s house to drink something. We expected a few people having some beers, but when we arrived it was crazy. There were more than 80 people listening to really loud music. I had so much fun and I met so many people. It was amazing.
I really love unexpected nights, they are always the best ones.
14) Where did you go on your most recent road trip?
I went to the south of France with a friend last summer. It was really good because we had no place to sleep, just our tent.
15) What is one travel advice you’d like to give?
Memorable trips are not only made by the places you go, but the people you lived them with.