Now that Covid-19 restrictions are loosening up and the weather is smiling brighter in southern Spain, I’ve been able to get out and observe my new home with a bit of newfound optimism that has been repressed the past few months. While my husband and I haven’t been able to travel as much as we had hoped since moving to Spain, we are truly enjoying the local flair and learning what it means to live a stress-free life in true Andalusian fashion.
Ja works long hours during the week, so much of our time exploring is spent together on the weekends. On an average Saturday or Sunday, we wake up whenever we feel like it (generally a little later in the morning though). Then we grab coffee and breakfast at a local café, or as they call it here, a cafeteria. Most of the cafeterias near us sell a large selection of pastries and a small selection of sandwiches, but not much else. Ja usually gets a “tostada de tomate y jamon” (toast with tomato paste and Spanish ham) and I usually opt for a pastry with chocolate. We sit outside with our food and café con leches and watch the town hum past for a bit.
After our breakfast, we spend some time walking aimlessly around while soaking in the sights. The architecture here is much older and more unique than architecture in the United States, so we never really get bored from our long walks. Sometimes, we are so absorbed in what we are seeing that we accidentally get a little lost. Even though the town is arguably small, it never ceases to amaze us how many tight, winding streets there are. This past weekend for example, we were walking around to take some photos and ended up discovering an entire new section of town! Walking has really become a favorite pastime of ours.
After breakfast and a walk, we will usually come home to recoup and decide what we want to do for the rest of the day. Sometimes, we simply relax at home on our porch so that Ja can rest from a crazy workweek. Other times, and more often, we choose to have some drinks and/or go out to dinner. In the afternoons on the weekends, the town is at its busiest with packed (but still socially distanced) bars and restaurants and it’s rare to see someone without a glass of beer or wine in front of them. We spend the rest of the evening enjoying tapas and wine under the setting sun and sometimes even go for another walk along the beach.
One aspect about Spain that I’m absolutely loving is the non-hurriedness of life here. People seem to move with the breeze as they slowly saunter from shop to shop in the mornings, taking the time to chat with their neighbors or have a drink at a nearby café. You will not find people frantically running to and from their destinations while shouting on their phone or even see people with their noses pressed into their social media accounts. The people here are actively engaged with what is happening around them in a bright and optimistic manner and, as someone who is guilty of allowing myself too much screen time, I find that admirable and something I try to mimic. Another aspect that I’m really enjoying is the walkability of everything. We have dozens and dozens of restaurants, bars, and cafeterias within a 15-minute walk and not having to worry about transportation truly takes some stress off the shoulders.
We will often find ourselves in awed silence, drunk on not only wine, but also on the hazy afternoon sun before one of us smirks at the other and says with a satisfied giggle, “I fucking love Spain”. We then do a small cheers, and enjoy ourselves among the twinkling lights of lively Spanish nights before making our way back home, just to do it all again next weekend.