Tapping away on my laptop overlooking San Sebastian it’s hard to believe that 7 whole weeks have passed since we packed up our house and left Australia to embark on this adventure. In these (seemingly very short) weeks we have almost travelled full circle around Spain, having also dipped into Portugal for a couple of weeks.
SEE ALSO: Eating and Drinking Guide to Barcelona
So far there have been a lot of tapas eaten, many glasses of Rioja drunk, many laughs, lots of adventure and many special (and unexpected) connections with locals.
Naturally I’m missing home a little– my bed, my routine, my friends and of course my family– but today I thought I’d share with you a handful of things that are helping to maintain my happiness:
At home, every Saturday morning involves the same routine: reading the weekend paper’s food review to my partner over avocado toast and lattes. Though it’s such a simple activity, it’s something we would both look forward to every week.
Whilst on the road I decided to subscribe to the newspaper’s digital service on my iPad, and now every Saturday I read the review out loud, whether we’re driving through the Basque region, drinking espresso at a cafe in Portugal or sitting on a bus for 8 hours. It’s just one simple way of having a little piece of home with us.
Establishing a Routine
When at home I’m an early riser, springing from bed at 5:30am, charging off to pilates at 6am, in the office by 8:30am, dinner at 7pm and in bed by 10pm.
The lifestyle Spain however is very different to back home. Here we eat late (generally between 10 and 11pm), rise late, and rest during the late afternoon. With such a huge shift in my routine, it’s easy for regular exercise, regular working hours and eating well to go out the window.
To help us establish a healthy routine whilst away we’ve made a conscious effort to exercise regularly, and have dedicated set times to work on our businesses and practice Spanish. No, it’s not always easy (especially when changing towns regularly), but our calendars are set to alert us whenever it’s time to go for a run, do a workout on the TRX, stretch or buckle down and work.
Blessed with a lot of time up our sleeve, we’ve been very loose with our travel plans. Of course not every one has the same luxury, but as a rule of thumb we’ve only been planning 3 or 4 days in advance. This means that when we arrive in a town and fall in love (like we did in Malaga, Spain) we have the flexibility to extend our stay and settle into daily life a little more. On the flipside, if the town or city isn’t really our thing we move on after only a couple of days.
Travelling can be exhausting, and catching busses and trains, running through airports, long layovers…. it can all feel a little too much sometimes. There have been some days when I just don’t feel like visiting museums, walking around cathedrals or eating out. It’s easy to feel guilty for staying in when there’s a beautiful town on your doorstep just waiting to be explored, but girl, you’ve got to listen to your body and rest.
Renting Apartments Over Hotel Rooms
Our current apartment in San Sebastian is our 16th Airbnb stay since joining in 2013. Having a kitchen (even a small one) to prepare some healthy food, a lounge room to work from and a space to feel like “home”, even if it’s for a few days makes for a far more pleasant stay than being cooped up in a hotel room.
SEE ALSO: Top Tips to Ensure Your First Airbnb Experience is Flawless
What keeps you feeling happy and balanced when you’re travelling? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!