When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.

— Wayne Dyer

The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings of our lives.

— Helen Mirren

It’s hard to comprehend that half of our adventure is already at an end. With each week we spend working, traveling and admiring each other’s strengths (and weaknesses), the more we realize that GlobeKick is more than a physical excursion. It is a personal journey.

Weeks 6 and 7 in Valencia were shaped around two very basic human traits: judgment and personal fear. For most people, these topics are difficult to recognize as truths. But as it stands, things that are difficult to acknowledge are things that most need acknowledging.

Judgment is often perceived as negative, but should be perceived as natural. It is natural for our eyes to witness something and for our brains to automatically label it with praise, indifference or criticism. Many times, our thoughts occur before we are able to consciously identify them as judgments. Judgment is another form of analysis, and analysis is key to survival.

We should never be afraid to admit when we are being judgmental. Quite the opposite, in fact. At the end of Week 6, we met in the Jardines del Turia, formed a circle and were encouraged to step into the circle when we associated with a particular judgment presented to the group. By openly admitting to ourselves and moderating our own judgments, we are able to ascertain whom we judge and why we judge them. In doing so, we can more easily identify with the object, event or person we are judging by admitting the human flaw in ourselves. Only when that flaw is recognized can we hope to change from it.

Personal fear is a human trait to which nobody is exempt. Personal fear stems from personal judgment that, again, must be openly acknowledged before change can occur. Fear is another survival tactic woven into our DNA, keeping us grounded and vigilant. In ways, personal fear keeps us from becoming stagnant by inspiring a desire to ultimately beat that fear.

We were asked to consider how our lives would be different without our greatest personal fear. Would we be happier? Would we be as successful? Would there be

another fear in its place? We met to discuss our individual fear with the group and declared our newfound courage to look it in the eye. Even if our fear is difficult to overcome, acknowledging its existence is the first step in the right direction.

All this introspection does make one thirsty, however. The GlobeKickers have been enjoying the countless nightclubs, restaurants, taverns and silent discos scattered throughout the middle of the city and the Russafa District. Malvarrosa Beach offers a refreshing dip in the wonderfully lukewarm Mediterranean, radical surf spots, dozens of low-key and high-end restaurants, a promenade and views of the most beautiful sunbathers in Europe. We met for a group cooking class, where we learned how to make traditional Valencian paella, Spanish omelets (tortillas) and sangria.

The final weekend in October led Halloween-hungry GlobeKickers to travel to nearby hot spots like Bran Castle in Romania (yep, Dracula’s castle), Ibiza, Rome, Barcelona and London. It’s always refreshing to take a little holiday from your holiday, so most of us are rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on our penultimate week in beautiful Valencia. – Nick Holloway, GlobeKicker


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