I did start doing this as a vlog, but for some reason I got a little choked up in parts and couldn’t really get my words out, I tend to get like that after living somewhere for a while. Being a digital nomad and virtual assistant is bitter sweet, you have something great to look forward to, but at the same time, you can’t help but think of all the things that you are leaving behind which you will miss. So here are the highlights of my stay in Spain, the things I did and the one thing I couldn’t bring myself to do…
Oh, how I will miss the tapas, nearly every bar that serves drinks will serve you with a tapas of your choice. You need to ask for it, because they generally don’t give them to foreigners, so don’t forget when you order your “cerveza” (beer) you also say “con tapa” queso (cheese) and jamon ( ham), which are generally good choices.
2. Ardales – the Spanish lake district
I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time in the Spanish lake district in Andalucia, it’s going to remain in my mind as one of my top 10 most beautiful places I have ever visited. The water is aqua blue, the mountains are carpeted with green trees, and the sun is always shining. It’s a place where you can go and really spend some time away from reality, staring out at the vast, unspoilt landscape, it’s like sitting in a picture postcard, that I will really miss.
3. Olive trees
In Spain are large quantities of olive trees, to get to the main supermarket I would drive for 10 minutes down a road where on either side were literally hundreds and hundreds of olive trees. In the evening when the sun was coming down the view in the distance was stunning.
4. Growing a lemon
For the first time ever, I was able to successfully grow a lemon, I blogged about that one a little while ago, I was so very pleased.
5. Driving in Sevilla!
I consider myself a fairly good driver, and I have driven on many roads in several countries, but the most thrilling place I have ever driven was Sevilla when I had no clue as to where I was going, I managed to navigate through the maze of roads and one way systems and lived to tell the tale, that was very memorable for me. Driving in Sevilla is not for the faint hearted…
6. Rotisserie chickens
Every Sunday a lady in our village opens up the front of her house which she converted into a little shop to sell home cooked, rotisserie chickens with her son who used to carve them, and her mum who used to be in charge of taking the money. If you get there a little early, and they are not quite ready, you can sit and enjoy Tapas with them! We have got one almost every Sunday since we arrived and they are soooo tasty, I will miss my Sunday chicken!
7. Made money buying petrol
If you go to a petrol station, and use the pump yourself and you go a little over the rounded up amount, e.g. instead of 50 Euro, you put in 50.12, they will never charge you the small change, we have always wondered how they ever balance their accounts…
The Spanish are party people, in fact if you need a lesson in how to party, Spain is the place to come, but the nice thing about it is, you will find all of the family out and about during fiestas, from the tiniest baby through to the oldest great great grandparents… They love to have fun, dance, sing, eat, drink and be merry. A good night on the town with the local Spanish folk with a bit of Flamenco dancing thrown in can do wonders!
9. Beautiful evenings
The evenings in Spain are the best, they are balmy, you can sit outside with a drink, pondering the ambience, and the holiday style atmosphere. Neighbours are out and about having barbecues, using the pool (nearly every residential housing complex has a pool), walking the dog, playing with kids, and it’s the most active time of the day. Families will often sit in the front garden having dinner and chatting to people who pass by, even on the main roads.
10. Living in a time-warp
The expats who live in Spain will all tell you this — it’s how England used to be in the 1970′s… everything is stuck in a time-warp, and it’s one of the many reasons why expats come to the more rural, old fashioned, unspoilt areas of Spain. Folk have more time and patience, in fact the rural Spanish people are so laid back they are like rugs.
And The One Thing I Couldn’t Do…
Spain is very famous for its bull fighting, and I did intend to see a real Matador in action while I was here – however – I read almost every week in the local paper of young, macho Spanish men in their early 20′s deciding to take on a bull in the ring and dying from being gored, burning to death from a strange trick with fire, or becoming seriously maimed or disabled in the ring. Needless to say, I did not want to be at one of the bull fights where I witnessed that, and therefore, never went to experience a bull fight.
There you have it! As you can see nothing touristy to report here, they were all very real experiences I will take away with me, and some very fond memories. Being a digital nomad for me is not just about visiting tourist attractions (although I often do) and cramming as much as possible into one experience over a couple of weeks or a month, it’s about living the life of the people we have chosen to be amongst, seeing what they see, doing what they do, and watching with awe, wondering if this is the kind of lifestyle we could live long term, or if we need to keep looking for our place on this Earth. For us, we are still looking, next stop Italy for 10 months, I’ll see you on the other side with a video blog from Le Marche very soon!