My goal for the early part of this year was to stay close to home and explore more of Madrid and Spain, and boy did I ever accomplish that goal in February.
I did have plans to leave the city once, but they fell through. At the end of the month (checking off the #Take12Trips challenge for February just under the wire!) I had booked a trip to Ávila to explore and conquer my fear by climbing and walking the city wall all by myself, but the night before I woke up at 2:50 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, after much consideration, I decided to abort the trip and spend the day writing and napping. I was tired, it was cold, it wouldn’t have been fun any ways. It was the right decision.
Although I stayed close to home, February was anything but quiet. I took advantage of every nice day that we had and spent my afternoons traipsing around exploring different neighbourhoods, climbing towers to get the best views of the city, and even taking part a few free tourist activities here and there.
It was great! I learned a tonne about the city, and found a few very cool little corners that I can’t wait to explore further.
It also became a bit of a game to find out how much could I do or see for free or cheap in Madrid. From the Chamberí Station and National Library Museums, to the SANDMANs New Europe Free Walking Tour to the views from El Cortes Ingles, Casa de Campo and the Teleférico, I saw so much of the city (from above and below) all for less than €11! It’s pretty amazing how much of Madrid is available for (almost) free, with just a little research and effort!
I’ve made myself a list (shocking, I know!) of free activities/adventures, and am looking forward to working my way through it (and reporting back to you) throughout the next few months.
On the personal front, February had its ups and downs. Ups: I turned 30, which wasn’t as terrifying as I expected; I continued with my Spanish classes and am starting to feel pretty confident for a beginner; I started taking an online intro to HTML course–I have the time, and this will help me rely less on Google; and, I felt like my little corner of the internet really started to blossom and grow, which is super exciting.
And then there were the downs, or really the down because there was just one: It rained A LOT, which led to a few days of boredom, watching TV, and a couple of tears (you can read about it here). It wasn’t the most fun, but these things happen–I’m sure even in Canada after four days of being held hostage by rain and wind I would have felt the same way, I’m just very happy that it was short-lived and lit a fire in me to be more productive and proactive.
- Madrid, Spain
Distance Travelled: 0km
- Expat Update 06: My Recent Ups and Downs as a Trailing Spouse
- My Travel Bucket List: Spain
- Madrid Style
Top Instagram Posts
What I’m REading
In this early part of the year I have pretty much failed miserably at the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge. But, that isn’t to say I haven’t been reading. Since the beginning of the year I’ve started eight books, but for various reasons have only managed to finish two of them.
Books I Read/Am Currently Reading
I kicked off the year reading books that would help me be a better person, business woman, etc., but they weren’t really holding my interest so I switched to fiction and blew through the titles listed below in a matter of days. They were great, and I’d recommend any of them if you’re in the market for a light but entertaining read.
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
- Tricky Twenty-Two: A Stephanie Plum Novel
- Currently reading: Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel
Books I Started & Are “On Hold
There are a few reasons that these books are “on hold.” Some I just couldn’t finish before the library needed them back, a couple I put down so I could read something more lighthearted, and one I stopped reading because I didn’t like the writing style–it felt like I was reading an PoliSci class that was leaving out a lot of necessary historical details. I’ve left them all on my list just in case I decide to pick them up again at some point this year.
- Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
- Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
- The Dogs of Riga
- The Fault Line: Traveling the Other Europe, From Finland to Ukraine
March is seriously going to make up for February’s lack of travel. Tomorrow, before the crack of dawn I’ll be up and at the airport ready to take my first trip to Brussels. RyanAir was offering a great deal and I hummed and hawed over booking this for most of the month, and then a couple of days after my birthday I decided to pull the trigger. It will be a very short trip (less than 48 hours), but I’m sure with a lot of preparation and caffeine I can pack enough into the two days.
Almost immediately following my return from Brussels one of my best friends will be arriving in Madrid and staying with us for a week. We’ll spend a few days seeing Madrid and then will probably head outside of the city for a couple of days to see more of Spain.
And then, pretty much as soon as she hops on the plane, Dave and I will be off. He has a surprise long weekend so we’re making the most of it and getting out of the city. We only learned about this long weekend last Tuesday so we’re still deciding between Mallorca and Morocco (update: we found a great deal and are off to Marrakech next week!)
Thankfully, after our city break I’ll have a few days to rest, relax and catch up on laundry before we’re off again. Over the seven days we’ll be exploring Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, traveling between each of the cities by train. Our friend is flying over to join us so it should be a crazy but amazing week!
Phew – that seems like enough for one month!
Tell me, what does March have in store for you?
Please Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. All thoughts, feelings and opinions shared on this blog and in this post are my own.