The Bustling City | Barcelona Vol.I

Photo by Erwan Hesry

Photo by Erwan Hesry


When it comes to Barcelona, what words call out to you first? Would you have linked this beautiful city with any of these phrases - sustainable culinary practices, plant-based lifestyle, holistic well-being, conscious art and fashion?

No, definitely not me if I weren’t inclined to explore global conscious communities. However, before you dive into all these Barcelonian wellness lifestyles with me, I would like you to hold your curiosity for a second.

To start, I would like you to travel back with me to an incident on my few last days of this journey of exploration - of which became one of the key components that affirmed my belief in the necessity of creating a conscious living community. It compelled me to contribute to a positive world with alternative ideas and to shift our way of thinking and communicating. Because neither of us, nor our Earth, should slip away from our precious life without embracing the fruitfulness and value of it.


The Event

On the afternoon of 17 August 2017, a 22-year-old man drove a van into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and injuring at least 130 others. When the attack happened, I was still soaking up the tender southern sunlight, working with my pc on the sidewalk of a coffee shop from just two blocks away.

In the following seconds, watching the human tsunami swamp over in my direction, I was already with staff from the coffee shop, guiding all the panicked people from the rush outside to be sheltered behind the kitchen where we stayed for the next seven hours. And for a small girl like me, facing this kind of situation for the first time, I clearly realized that I was standing out and acting as a fort of protection for others rather than being a victim- feeling the real strength of life existing.

I personally went through four internationally-known terrorist attacks within less than two years - from Paris, to New York, to Barcelona - each time brushing by threats and risks to unfortunate, and seeing suffering in real . I wouldn’t said I am “used to” the situation, but I had been taught the most priceless lessons which raises my perspective and the importance of making my everyday count.



The power of generous love, strong love

I had planned the travel to Barcelona to learn about their sustainability movement in food and holistic wellness development. Of which was a grateful and fulfilling journey scooping me up into a wrap with most beautiful, kind, warm souls that I have ever met in my life. The event, no matter how terrible, had brought this experience further toward a deeper understanding of the people living here in Barcelona.

Facing violence that expropriates the value on which they sit - the opposite of fear or resentment - you sense the evolving love and positive force in the air. Not only did they stand up for justice and peace, they also guard the conscious values they hold.


The city known for her idyllic city lifestyle with a vibrant soul has, throughout different times, demonstrated the spirit of Catalan Modernism in creating new life aesthetics - fusing art and literature towards a new expression and identity. Because the Catalonians love their land, their distinct culture, and their people, they are committed to persevere and carry on. I could observe a new rising of wellness studios, sustainable culinary spot, coffee shops, new brands and artists transforming their emotions into mindful business development. Against the tragedy, love is still their only and unshakable response.


Gratitude, the fortunate to live, live with joy

Twelve-year-old Joel* asked me, “Kai Chi, what’s it like to have gone through four terrorist attacks?”

This was my reply:
- Fear comes from the unknown. If you already know what it is (going to be), you will start to feel fearless.
- Consciousness makes you feel secure, compassion makes you strong.
- Learn of the opportunities from adversary.
- Let gratitude and kindness lead our mind and heart daily.
- Be grateful to live, live with health and joy, share this joy.


Very often, we don’t know the value of having the chance to live fearlessly, healthfully, happily and freely until it has been taken away. More often, we underestimate our own abilities to take a moment to notice our own well-being and surroundings. Fortunately, we don’t have to all survive from a negative event to learn these.

I came back to everyday life, giving gratitude to everything, every moment. I encourage myself to take action making every task, every job I do the one I dream of. Encouraging people around or unknown to me to do things that creates for ourselves a place we can root.

By being mindful, putting out mindful actions and curiosity, we are capable of creating ultimate joy and positive power. Because life is too precious to be wasted, and learning to living consciously connects us all.

There are more Barcelona stories, beautiful souls and consciousness discoveries to be expressed. Until then, love from KC.


words & photos By KaiChi Chuang