Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis & space invaders in Málaga

A short 20-minute train ride away from Torremolinos, we find ourselves wandering around the larger city of Málaga anytime we need a change of scenery.

We happened upon a free photography exhibit in Plaza de la Constitución, right in the city centre. This exhibit included photos from Sebastião Salgado’s most recent black and white photography project, Genesis, which he describes as his “love letter to the planet.”

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Sebastião Salgado’s photos give us a new vision of our home. His photos compel us to think carefully about our impact on the environment, as well as motivate us to take real steps to protect the people, plants, and animals that inhabit this planet.

I had not known of Sebastião Salgado prior to this exhibit. To be honest, I didn’t look into the photographer’s name while I admired the photos. I simply took note of the exhibit’s name and hoped to look into it another time.

It wasn’t until later that day when a friend on Facebook shared a TED article about the Genesis project that I realised how lucky we were to have experienced Sebastião Salgado’s photos in person.

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Photographing other photos doesn’t make much sense to me, since photos are best seen in person, through your own eyes. I only took these photos to show you what the exhibit looked like since the rusted metal frames were pretty cool, and I couldn’t pass up this cute dachshund. 😉 Check out this gallery to see more of Sebastião Salgado’s photos in greater detail.

You can watch his inspiring Ted Talk here:

Besides pop-up photography exhibits, Málaga is home to several art spaces and museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Contemporary Art Centre, to name a few. (The Picasso Museum is free to the public on the last Sunday of every month and the CAC is free anytime it’s open.)

You’ll also come across plenty of art in the streets.

No disrespect to murals, but they don’t interest me as much as Invader’s mosaic tile installations. Invader is a prolific contemporary street artist who travels the world, invading cities with his colourful mosaic tile pieces. At this time, he’s graced 72 cities across the globe with his presence.

Luckily, we arrived in the Costa del Sol just after his first invasion of Málaga which took place in May 2017.

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His tile mosaic installations are also known as invaders, and according to Invader’s website, 29 exist in Málaga. We’ve only come across seven, one of which I haven’t photographed since I was filming a vlog. I’d like to photograph all 29 invaders but who knows if we can find them all!

Málaga is the second largest city in Andalucia, with Seville being the first. We have our work cut out for us with this invader hunt. Can you guess where we’ll be this weekend? 😉

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How to downsize your wardrobe

Do you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear?

I struggled with this before I started my journey into minimalism. I had closets packed full of clothes and dozens of pairs of shoes, some of them never worn. I bought these clothes just in case I needed them (perhaps for a night out) or because they were simply on sale and I felt compelled to spend money. Part of me hoped this would cure my boredom or make me feel better about myself.

Shopping was just a hobby of mine, something I did because a) everyone else does it and b) spending money is fun and arguably addictive. I didn’t realise this at the time but the satisfaction from buying new stuff is fleeting. It never lasts. You’re just left with too many clothes, too much stuff, and too little money.

Minimalism helped me snap out of this shopping-to-fill-a-void mentality.

I had to adjust my spending habits and start appreciating not buying things if I wanted real change in my life. I started to downsize my wardrobe because I had to, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to start travelling nomadically.

I didn’t expect downsizing my wardrobe to have such an impact on the rest of my life, but it did! What once started out of a need to make nomadic travelling easier quickly turned into a life philosophy. I learned that less is, in fact, more and that my life is richer without all the unnecessary stuff cluttering my home and my mind.

While it isn’t necessary that everyone minimise their wardrobe so they can live out of a bag, I do believe most of us can benefit from simplifying the clothes we own and wear. A smaller wardrobe is better for us as it makes choosing outfits, shopping, and laundry easier, and it’s better for the environment (and our wallets) because we only buy clothes when we actually need them.

In my latest video, I share with you some tips to help you simplify your clothing. I explain how I downsized my massive wardrobe to just 30 items and why I basically wear the same thing every day.

I also address some concerns you might have, like: Will people notice I wear the same thing? Will I need to do laundry more often? What if I get rid of an item but I end up needing it later? And of course, I share with you the many benefits of living simply with fewer clothes.

I hope you find my video useful. Feel free to check out my previous videos as well. 🙂

In this video, I go through every item in my minimalist wardrobe.

Here I offer you some tips to reduce laundry as well as explain how we wash our clothes. We use soap nuts which are natural shells of berries. Soap nuts are eco-friendly, vegan, and cost effective as they are very cheap.

I hope these videos inspire you to downsize your wardrobe. Fewer clothes mean less stress as well as time and money saved. Why not start cleaning out your closet today? Who knows where you’ll end up! 😉

Cycling in the Guadalhorce Nature Reserve

I’ve worked on a long list of possible day trips and things to do since we arrived in Torremolinos. We have plenty of options to choose from but the cost of these options is one of the most important factors in deciding which trips we take. It isn’t the only determining factor as we can make exceptions, but we usually prefer to stick to more affordable options.

If an activity is cheap and it gets us outside, well that’s even better!

Special thanks to my husband Kuba for letting me share his photos in this post. Check out his Instagram account @roaming_kuba for more stunning photos of our travels.

There’s a dedicated bike path running along the beachfront promenade in Torremolinos, so renting a bike seemed like a fun idea. Plus, since I just received a new camera, I was hoping to test out my vlogging-while-cycling skills. Don’t worry, the camera is insured! 😉

For only €10, we were able to rent two bikes for four hours. We rented our bikes from DSG Electric Rent, which based on my research, offers the cheapest prices for bike rentals in Torremolinos. It’s also conveniently located right on the beach, so you can just head straight down the beach promenade after picking up your bike.

While we could have just cycled up and down the beach, we wanted to do something different away from the city. Instead, we headed to the Guadalhorce Nature Reserve, a short 25-minute bike ride away from Torremolinos.

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Interestingly, the lakes in the park are man-made. Excavations of gravel and sand in this area left large pits which eventually flooded.

The Guadalhorce River, which runs between Málaga and Torremolinos, splits just before it flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Once used for gravel and sand excavations in the 1960s and 70s, this estuary is now an important bird breeding and migration site in this part of Spain.

We came across several bird observation points along the network of trails weaving through the marshlands. These covered points were ideal for bird-watching and photography, and even a lunch picnic in the shade.

There were a few other cyclists and hikers in the park but for the most part, we were left alone with the birds. Even though we were outside the city, we could still hear Málaga’s airport as it’s nearby.

Cycling through the park was so much fun! Cycling has to be the best mode of transportation, wouldn’t you agree? Not only is it environmentally-friendly and an excellent way to stay fit, it’s also a lot easier to find a parking space.

Perhaps we can have our own bikes someday. Until then, we are happy to rent bikes here and there. Next time I think we’ll head in the other direction, perhaps to visit Fuengirola for another vegan popsicle. 😉

I regret that I don’t have any photographs of the birds, but I do have around two minutes of bird footage in my vlog thanks to Kuba. Check out my vlog to see the park and all the long-legged birds we saw that day.

Thanks to Simon for recommending this park. 🙂