I try my best to learn SOMETHING new when traveling solo and my recent hike to Sant Jeroni in Montserrat was definitely life changing. The highest peak is 1,236 m (4,055 ft), the hike is an estimated 4-5 hours going up and down, but it took me close to 7. I wanted to turn back so many times, but I happy to say I completed it. Here are fifteen life lessons learned when hiking up the mountain to Sant Jeroni.


Sant Jeroni Smiling

Sometimes you have to go alone

The trip to Barcelona, the journey from Barcelona to Montserrat and the hike was done on my own. I initially wanted to take a tour, but my indecisiveness caused me to miss out on the one provided by my hotel. With some tips from the concierge and my own research I was able to find my way (and save money). I initially wanted to go to the top to get nice aerial views but it became more motivational after a while.

There will be obstacles

From narrow paths, rocks, stairs going up and down, to me not wearing the proper shoes, many things were in the way at times, but it didn’t stop me from going forward. Similarly to life’s journey, you should always find your way through any obstacle.

Sant Jeroni paths

Find a source of encouragement

With no one there to cheer me on, I had to find a source of encouragement to keep going. I spoke affirmations, sang encouraging songs and pushed myself to the very end.

You’ll encounter different people along the way

On the hiking trail to Sant Jeroni, there were many men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds along the way. Some were nice while others just passed me by. It didn’t affect my end result in any way.

Don’t compare yourself to others

While going up I became discouraged when people that started after me got ahead before me. I immediately checked myself because I realized everyone’s journey through the hike was for different reasons. There were 15-20 minute trails, the full hike to the top and others were there for rock climbing or have picnic lunches. Comparison is really the thief of joy. Appreciate each step you take in your own walk.

Rest when needed

I barely work out and became breathless often. Had I not rested and recharged, I could’ve passed out or something much worst. Don’t believe the “sleep when you die” hype. Everyone needs to take a break every once in a while.

Follow helpful signs

Along the trail there were helpful signs allowing me to estimate the amount of time left going up and down. It’s your choice at the end of the day to follow the sign or get lost making the journey a little longer than it should.

Sant Jeroni Signs

You don’t always remember how you got there

There was a map towards the beginning of the trail to Sant Jeroni, but silly me didn’t think to take a picture to figure out where I was going and it became difficult going down. I thought I was going the right way, but I was going the total opposite. Sometimes you have to start at the last successful point to get yourself back on track

It may get scary

On my way down the sun began to set. I tried my best to walk as fast as possible and retrace my steps (there are two paths to get down), but I couldn’t beat the light. It was scary, but I had to find encouragement again in order to keep going. 

Sant Jeroni high steps

Prayer works

Sometimes the scariest or most difficult moments would lead you to pray. If I didn’t say one prayer in my entire life, I sure did when I got lost and I’m grateful that it was answered.

It’s okay to ask for help

My prayer was simply to “send help”. As I was trying to go back to retrace my steps, I found a young man walking my way. Some may say it was a coincidence, but I KNOW God heard me. When you’re in a rut, don’t be too ashamed to ask someone for help.

Only look back to see how far you’ve come

As I previously mentioned, there were so many times I wanted to go back. My legs hurt and I was tired, but every time I looked back, it encouraged me to finish the goal.

You’ll get frustrated; even when you’re almost there

The last 10-15 minutes were TOUGH and I was getting upset. My camera battery was low, there were very steep stairs to climb and I was just ready to turn back. I’ve noticed that right before you get a breakthrough, it becomes difficult. Try your best to endure.

The top isn’t always that glamorous

Don’t get me wrong, the view was beautiful and I cried when I got there, but the top of Sant Jeroni wasn’t what I expected at all. I would’ve been more upset had I not done the full hike and I’m glad that I did.

Top of Sant Jeroni

Set new goals

There are many other things to accomplish and staying in your ‘last win’ will get old. Never become stagnant in your journey. Set new goals and crush them.

For someone that isn’t very athletic, the hike to Sant Jeroni was a great accomplishment and I’ve never been more proud of myself. If you visit Barcelona, the trip to Montserrat is worth it; even if you don’t take the hike to the top. If you’re an adventure seeker or like hikes in general, this is an activity for you.

15 Life Lessons Learned on the Hike to Sant Jeroni

39 comments on “15 Life Lessons Learned on the Hike to Sant Jeroni”

  1. I took a tour to Montserrat so I didn’t get to do any hiking. I would love to go back and do this hike. Not sure I am brave enough to do it by myself though so kudos to you!

  2. I loved this post! As an experienced hiker I still have to do these things all the time! Finding motivation to finish is always a challenge, but it’s one facet of what makes hiking so amazing. Congrats on seeing it through and hopefully you’ll do more hikes. It does get easier, but each day is different!

  3. This was so refreshing to read! Kudo’s to you for taking this journey…. I would love to experience something like this one day. I’m so in touched with nature so I know I would love this… Very inspirational and I like all of your reflective points. Great way to reconnect with your spirituality! Awesome job!

  4. Wow, what a lovely place!! i haven’t heard for these before but i would love to hiking there !! The View is amazing , thanks for sharing your experience with us

  5. Good for you!! I always say I love hiking and then when I am actually doing it, I regret ever thinking hiking is fun! LOL. But it is the most rewarding feeling. Awesome post

  6. You are an amazing and brave soul. I am not a big fan of hiking even though l don’t mind walking. It must have been exhilarating though. I hope to visit Barcelona again this year and your pictures are making me think l need to visit Sant Jeroni πŸ™‚

  7. I’m impressed with your solo travels! And this list was pretty awesome. I’d like to think I can incorporate some in life daily. Only look back to see how far you’ve come! LOVE THAT!

  8. I’ve always wanted to go to Montserrat and this post was an awesome way to remember it. I love your part about “The top isn’t always that glamorous” – that’s true in life too! πŸ™‚ Nice post!

  9. I wanted to visit Montserrat when I was in Spain last year, but didn’t get the chance. I love how you were able to gain mental tips from a physical journey. Very fresh perspective!

  10. I’m so proud of you! What a great accomplishment! Montserrat is so beautiful! I took the tram up there so I am definitely impressed that you did the hike! These are great life lessons!

  11. Your very first tip…sometimes you have to do it alone! I love it because its so true!!! And Im learning as I get older you can’t bring everyone with you, you have to step out on faith and go for it!

  12. These are all great tips, this reminds me of my hike in Malibu California, I wanted to quit, I was thinking I cant do this, i was out of breath with limited water, feet started hurting, But thank God both of us finished and now can see we accomplished what appeared like an impossible goal.

  13. My friend who is an avid hiker and all-around athletic person suggested we go for a hike while visiting Montserrat. I thought nothing of it. A nice walk, sure. On our way to Sant Jeroni, we somehow found a different trail that had us climbing down rocks and doing things that were totally unexpected. No signs anywhere. 2 hours later, we finally came to a sign that directed us to Sant Jeroni. By that point, I was exhausted. I did not want to disappoint my friend who had been looking forward to it so we pushed ahead. I was extremely happy to come to a sign shortly after that pointed to a much shorter route back to Sant Joan. This gave me the energy to finish the climb and know that we could get back more easily. It was worth the exhaustion and even the falling down at one point to experience it. I know exactly how you felt. I enjoyed reading your story of your climb. Good for you!

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