On Returning to el Teide

It is almost three weeks until I return to Tenerife. During my first visit to the island, I spent a month completing an internship in geochemical monitoring and geothermal energy in association with GeoTenerife and INVOLCAN. This time, on my third trip, I will be on the island in a very different capacity: on holiday with my three siblings. I will be acting as tour guide, showing them around the island for a week. I imagine that with new company, the island will seem very different, and may be recast in my eyes into an adventure playground. However, there is one aspect that will remain unchanged: the volcano, el Teide, which we will summit on our last morning.
Eight months have gone by since I first climbed el Teide (incidentally the highest point in the Atlantic). Since then many things have happened. I have graduated from university, for one thing! I leave with a good degree and absolutely no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. However, I know that passion is a powerful tool: and with my interest in volcanology, right here would be a great place to start.
When I achieved the top of Teide, I experienced a real moment of real lucidity. I can remember the summit cone in almost painful clarity: sulphurous clouds belching from steaming, crystal-sugared vents; the searing brightness of the pumiceous rock; the acidic blue that cloaked the valleys below. I am not sure how many people experience this feeling, the absolute certainty that this is what you could do each day for years; but as for myself, on October 1st 2014, I knew that I wanted the study of volcanoes to be a large aspect of my life in the years to come.
Who knows where it will take me? So far I have planned placements in Ecuador and Mexico, but I hope that my studies will propel me to every hidden cauldron and forgotten vent around the globe. I know that competition for work is heated, and if secured a job is unlikely to be lucrative; but on the other hand, the pleasure of a large salary can’t match the feeling that I had on top of Teide last fall.

On another note, I can’t say thank you enough to the people behind GeoTenerife, who selected me from many candidates to intern on the island last September. I feel incredibly privileged to have experienced this kind of work before. I know that there is a new crowd of interns out there this June. I wish them the very best of luck, and hope that their time on the island sparks an interest as passionate as mine.
A snow-covered Teide in the early morning, taken from the col of the TF-436 towards Masca.

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