The typical student travel experience in Spain, consisting of visits to several key cities, a homestay with structured class time, and some “activities”- including museums, cathedrals, and plazas, is a good experience. However, the next level of travel- Spain Eco-immersion– means weaving all of those elements into a rural, small village, outdoors, local neighborhood engagement which connects the cultural, geographic, culinary, biological, musical, and historical stories into a cohesive whole. These elements are all connected in the same manner that every organism in an ecosystem is connected to every other organism (somehow). A lot of the fun of the Eco-immersion experience on Chill Expeditions Spain Adventure Tours is participating in the somehow of this ecosystem. This is a much more authentic, non-tourist experience, different from typical Spain Adventure Travel. It is an experience that becomes unique to every different student and also is directly translatable into rethinking one’s human ecosystem back at home.
For example, rather than just go to a tourist Flamenco evening (which can be done anywhere), an Eco-immersion approach would have the traveler first learn (from one of the few classical flamenco guitar makers left) how this unique instrument is made. After sharing a café con leche with the master guitar maker in a local café, the traveler is then led to the workshop where she can see all the guitars in various stages and gain further insight into the cultural tradition of Flamenco and its power in Andalucía.
Then, continuing on from this village to Grenada, the traveler spends the day wandering the incredible labyrinth of tiny streets and parks, tying together all three cultures (Christian, Jewish, Moorish) that have shaped this city. The day finishes with an evening meal in a tiny barrel vaulted local flamenco venue- and the Flamenco experience becomes a much more genuine literal immersion in the fabric of Andalucían life.
The trip to Grenada and this evenings’ experience tied together what the traveler had previously experienced in the few museums she had visited, the people she had met, the cuisine that had led up to the experience, and the soul stirring music itself: how it is all embedded here- in the heart of the Sierra Nevadas overlooking the Mediterranean, with aromas from Europe, the Mideast, and Africa swirling in the air and mixing with the vibrant colors of this magical place.