It’s been a week in Spain now, and I have already met so many people and been to so many places. Right now, I’m in a yoga retreat center close to a village called Villamartin, about 100 km south east of Seville (I will tell you more about the place and why I’m here, later). While writing this, I’m listening to the snoring of a big furry dog, one of the workers dogs here, having a siesta. I now understand why there are siestas in Spain, why it’s necessary to escape the streets and the outside, because it is seriously hot. Its like there is a big hairdryer blowing hot air all the time and even the wind is super warm. It’s of course warmer inland than at the sea, and my Scandinavian body is not happy during the hottest hours, I even get nosebleeds from the heat. Well, that’s enough complaining about the heat, because if I’m going to live in Spain, its part of the package, and then its good that I am here while it is at it hottest.
I arrived last Tuesday night at 22. I booked an Airbnb just 3 km outside of Málaga, right by the sea, for 4 nights. I stayed with the sweetest and warmest Spanish woman and her 11-year-old son. When I arrived, she was on her way out, but she said to me “I’m seeing some friends at a restaurant just across the street and you have to come with me”. Even though I was tired, it was actually just the nicest welcome ever, and I went with her and met some really lovely people and had a great time. That’s one of the things I like so much about Spain, that the Spanish people are so open, warm and friendly. In Spain I have always experienced this openness and warmth from most people.
ARRIVING TO SPAIN
I think that with the social media, it is as if you should only show people all the positive things in your life, but I have promised to be honest in this blog, so I will. I must admit that arriving to Spain, has not really been happy times, like I thought it would be. I thought that I would feel butterflies and happiness inside like all the other times I was in Spain, but I don’t really. It has actually been a bit stressful and I am overwhelmed by the tiredness in my body and mind. I didn’t know that I was in this state, and that I would feel this restless and disconnected with myself. I thought I was going to be excited about this adventure now that Im finally here, but I don’t really have the energy or excitement about exploring. In Málaga I wanted to see the Picasso museum, the Alcazaba (an old castle) and many other things, but my energy was very low and I was dragging my self through the city. In the end I finally gave up and gave into my state, and went to the beach to rest, instead of giving myself a hard time, that I wasn’t living up to my own expectations.
After some time I realized that it is because I’m too exhausted to feel myself, and that I can’t always feel happy. Being happy all the time is like an illusion to me. Nobody can be happy all the time, and it’s okay. A clever lady once told me that if I don’t feel it or have a down period, then I should just make the most of it. So, that is what I will do, until I regain energy and contact with myself.
But I could not completely let go and do nothing, there is also some obligations, some things I had to do, in order to be able to stay in Spain. First of all, I had to get a social security number, because without that, you can’t even get a Spanish phone number. I also had to register myself at an office for unemployed people, in order to get unemployment insurance money for 3 months (that is an option in Denmark, when you are unemployed and have a private insurance, and go to an EU country to look for a job). I knew that all this might not be so smooth, from other people, because the bureaucracy is a bit crazy here. I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but everything is decentralized and at one office they wont answer a question that doesn’t have to do with exactly what they are working with. So, I have been send to new places all the time and not really getting what I needed, and all communication is in Spanish because no one, as in NO ONE, in all these offices speaks a word English. I’m so grateful that I can speak a bit Spanish, even though I sometime only understand half of what they are saying. Getting the social security number works a bit differently in the different cities and because of the process in Málaga, it takes longer in Málaga than in other places. I decided to postpone it until I got to Cádiz, because I was not interested in staying in Málaga that long.
HOW DO I GET AROUND AND WHERE HAVE I BEEN SO FAR?
Saturday, I picked up a rental car at the airport, a car that I will have for 70 days. It’s of course not cheap to rent a car for this long, but it’s a freedom that I love to have. I believe that there is abundance in this world, also when it comes to money, just as long as we spend it on what makes us happy, without being stupid . So spending money on renting a car, because it gives me the freedom that I find to be important for me, doesn’t kill my budget. The car I got, was not very strong in the engine and going up hill with it, just on the motorway, was a pain in the a.., because it was just too slow. Before, I would have just stuck with it, not even trying to do anything about changing it, because I don’t know much about cars and I wouldn’t really know what to do. But I just felt that I couldn’t live with this car for the next 70 days, and now, I’m in a place in my life where I want to challenge myself, with things that I have to make an effort in. It is also important to make myself more more comfortable, and also to expand the areas in my life, where I’m insecure about things. So, I called the car rental office in Fuengirola, where I was passing by, and asked if I could change the car into something more powerful and I could for a little extra money. So I did and I’m so happy with the decision, so now I’m on a roll with this little beauty.
I didn’t decide where to go after Málaga until the day before. Airbnb makes it possible to book from day to day, which is great. I decided to go to Tarifa, which is a wind- and kitesurfing town on the coast, west of Málaga. Here I was meeting a French sailing guy from Couchsurfing, that I had been writing with about “surfing on his boat couch”, when I was in Málaga. I had though, booked an Airbnb at a womans house in Tarifa, so I was just meeting him and his friend for drinks and food. I have decided to be openminded about meeting new people. Sometimes I can be judgemental without even knowing people, and that makes me a bit snobbish and I don’t want to be like that anymore. I want to network and make new friends here, people that are young, older, my age, women, men and animals, of course. And I had a fun time with the french guy Yann and his friend Arthur.
We explored Tarifa by night which was packed with mostly Spanish surfers on holiday. Tarifa is seriously windy because it’s situated in a wind hole in the Gibraltarstrait and that what’s makes it so popular for surfers.
After one night in Tarifa, I moved on to Cádiz on Sunday. Cádiz is a habour town and supposedly one of the oldest towns in Europe, founded in 1100 BC. Cádiz was one of the “have to go” places, that I want to visit and that I felt drawn to. I took a stroll around town, but all shops were closed and it was almost empty a Sunday afternoon in the heat. I almost only met people carrying beach chairs and umbrellas, and I realized that at the bottom of the city, there was a small strip of beach, PACKED with people. I was the only one stupid enough to wander the city in the heat. But the city was beautiful with many old buildings and a beautiful cathedral, like in almost all the bigger cities in Spain.
MISSION NUMBER 1 COMPLETED
Monday morning, I went to the police station to get a social security number and 7 minutes later, I was back on the streets and mission was accomplished. YAY, it felt like a big relief, like that I had been on this big mission that finally succeeded. What’s all the fuss about it in Málaga with it taking so many days, I don’t really understand. but I couldn’t stay longer this time, because I had arranged to go and volunteer at this yoga retreat center, where I am now. On my way here, I stopped for lunch in Jerez de la Fronterra, which was also one of the cities I wanted to visit and I’m happy that I did. I love the Spanish style of the buildings, they are so pretty and that makes me happy to just watch them and to walk around the streets.
SURYALILA, HEAVEN ON EARTH
Last Sunday, just before leaving for Spain, I saw that this yoga center was applying for volunteers for 3-4 weeks, doing farming work. I applied immediately, and I was accepted. This is the best decision in a long time. Here I will work 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I will get free accommodation and free vegetarian food and I have the most amazing view of the landscapes surrounding the place. I get to work with and be around mother earth and all of her children; plants and a few animals, I can do yoga and have a long siesta during the day, swim in the swimming pool, sleep and do what I want. My body is grateful and so am I. I will write more about the place in my next blog post, and there you can see more pictures. I am in very good hands and I will go offline for awhile, just to connect with myself and regain energy again.