Lisa Lansing

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Meeting complete strangers while travelling alone

I left Palma this afternoon and am now settled in my room in Barcelona. I even slept through my alarm this morning, somehow, but managed to devour an entire wedge of watermelon in record time and still arrived at the airport an hour early. For future reference, eating watermelon as fast as you can isn’t the best way to start the day, especially if you need to walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes before catching the bus!

Palma is the first place (besides Scotland) where I felt at home. I could see myself settling there for sure, or at least spending more time there in the future. Affordable, delicious fruit around every corner and perfect sunny weather—what more could I need? I feel like I got enough sunshine to last me through another Scottish winter.

This was my first time renting a room on Airbnb (as opposed to an entire flat) and now the bar is set high. I had the best time there! The flat was located a short walk to the beach and city centre and my room was perfect: comfy queen bed, plenty of space for me to relax, direct access to the kitchen AND bathroom which were always neat, clean, and organised. I had absolutely no complaints. My host was beyond friendly, sweet, and made me feel right at home. I was so happy to share a space with her.

This overwhelmingly positive experience of renting a room on Airbnb and living with a stranger set the stage for my time in Palma. I was completely stress-free and happier than ever. My allergies even disappeared, except during those few stressful days when planned my Croatia itinerary.

The best part of my time in Palma (besides finding an all-vegan ice cream shop—I hadn’t indulged in ice cream in so long, so I was over the moon to find it!) was that I made a new vegan friend thanks to the power of social media. My now-friend Carolina found me on Facebook and took a chance by asking me, a complete stranger, to meet up with her. I’ve met a lot of vegans through social media, and usually, we get along fine because we have veganism in common, but it’s rare that I make a real connection with someone.

This type of connection only happens when we have other things in common besides veganism. As veganism itself has all sorts of flavours, depending on how and why you decided to go vegan, and what type of diet you follow, I never expected that I’d meet another vegan like Carolina who is similar to me in so many ways, especially as I travel around through Europe.

I’m so grateful that we met! It is beyond refreshing to meet someone so real and genuine, where we can chat about anything and everything as we walk around Palma in the sunshine.

I walked miles through Palma, around 110 miles in two weeks if you can believe it! Besides strolling along the beach, I spent quite a lot of time walking through the centre photographing the city. Besides capturing well-known landmarks and tourist attractions, I try to take photos of scenes and situations that show others what it would be like to explore the city for the first time.

Cafés and shops line Passeig del Born in one of the many shopping areas in Palma.
While I usually try to avoid crowds, tourists do make interesting subjects for my photos.
On the way to Parque de la Feixina.
You’ll find Rosevelvet Bakery down this side street: a nice, quiet refuge in the heart of the bustling city centre, complete with vegan options.
Passeig de Sagrera on the way to Parque de la Feixina.
Plaça Major.

I haven’t even been away from Palma for a full day and I already miss it. I can’t wait to visit Palma again sometime soon.

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