Bohemian Agent Blog

Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, manifesting your own happy, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
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8 apps to ease your travels in Spain!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be my first road trip to Xeraco.  I'll share 8 apps to ease your travels in Spain!

And, so the time had come for me to head out on my first road trip to Xeraco to meet my soon to be greatest American buds here in Spain!  Hooray!  It was my first time taking the train system in Spain this distance by myself.  Oh, boy!  Being in a foreign country with a time constraint to catch multiple trains felt a bit daunting its first go-round, but by using a few handy dandy apps, I made it without a snafu just fine!  I began the journey coordinating the train out my tiny wine village into the beautiful city of Barcelona (approx. 45 minutes).  From there I would take the long distance train (approx. 5 hours) straight into Valencia, followed by a third train that would get me into the small Mediterranean beach town of Xeraco (approx. 1 hour).  At the last leg of the journey, I took a taxi service (15 minutes) from the original part of the pueblo in Xeraco to the beach resort area without speaking a lick of Spanish the entire way!  Here's how I did it:

Luckily, I had some handy dandy apps to get the job done!  I was also very thankful that my new American friends took the one taxi service from their beach house to meet me at my final destination (using the only off-season taxi driver in Xeraco who was on their speed dial).  The handy apps that made this journey and many others possible without going into extreme panic include:

  • WhatsApp:  What is it?  It's an app for calling and texting.  You'd be hard pressed to find a Spaniard that didn't use this app to communicate using calls or texts.  Not having this app to coordinate with any local peeps here in Spain is nearly impossible.  Make this a download must if you are spending any length of time in Spain.
  • Rome2Rio:  What is it?  It's a long distance trip planning app that will save your butt going anywhere from Rome to Rio.  You name the place; this app will get you there.  It is unbelievably useful and came highly recommended to me by my travel blogging friends at Move To Traveling located here in Denia, Spain.  
  • Speak & Translate:  What is it?  It's a speaking translator app that will help you communicate with locals in the train or bus stations to make sure you are heading in the right direction or with your taxi driver to get you to your final destination safe and sound.
  • Google Translate:  What is it?  It's a writing translator app.  Use it to translate signs along the way or to help you send What's App messages back and forth to Spanish locals.  Copy and pasting will be a godsend when you need to get a message across!  
  • Google Maps:  What is it?  It's a mapping app.  Use it to pin (save) train station locations when you do a little exploring from the train or bus you just got off.  Use it to get from one station to the next above ground or use it to find that restaurant, hotel or destination that you are heading to by foot, bike, car or train.  
  • Renfe:  What is it?  It's the app for the train line here in Spain.  Use this to find out when your next train is coming or going.
  • Alsa:  What is it?  It's the app for the bus line here in Spain.  Use this to find out when your next bus is coming or going.
  • BlaBlaCar:  What is it?  It's a car share app used all over Europe.  It's not a taxi; It's not Uber or Lyft where everyday peeps become a taxi service (on call).  It is, however, an app for everyday peeps that are already taking a trip to a particular destination and have room in their car to rent you a seat at a lower price than you would usually pay to go by train or bus.  Things to watch for here are baggage limitations if you aren't a light packer.  A quick tip is to use WhatsApp and Google Translate apps to communicate with your Spanish driver regarding your meet up and drop off points.

Happy Travels! 

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  

 Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Americans in Spain, hooray!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be meeting Americans online that would change the course of my entire experience here in Spain.

It was now the beginning of March, and I was about to meet a couple that would quite literally change my entire experience here in Spain more than I could ever imagine!  

Sure, I had been enjoying my fair share of power walks around wine country to discover all things that were right under my nose, but it was time to set these sails onward and outward!  

I had been invited to explore another part of Spain by two wonderful Americans I recently connected with online via mutual friends.  These two lovely people had moved to Spain directly from Denver, CO only six months before my arrival here.  We all shared a mutual connection within the art community back in Denver who insisted that we would fall madly in love with one another as friends and that's just what we did!  

In fact, our "friendship love affair" with life in Spain continues actively to this very day in a city we all currently call home named Denia, Spain (This happens nearly a year into my tiny tales here in Spain).  

For storytelling purposes, let's get back on track to the beginning of my adventure.  At this time, Eric and Amalia called a very quaint Spanish beach town, Xeraco, (on the Mediterranean Sea) home.  It took all but a few email exchanges back and forth with my new friends to land me a five-day stay to meet them in their beautiful home on the Mediterranean.  As I had mentioned earlier, it was now March, and that meant they had scored this gorgeous beachfront home for a song in the off-season at this tiny Mediterranean community.  Xeraco is a community located in the province of Valencia.   Like many coastal towns here in Spain the city of Xeraco is divided into two parts.  The original town and the beach resort, Xeraco Platja.  Guess where yours truly was headed? You knew it was going to be the latter choice, didn't you?  It was straight to that beach resort lifestyle to sink my teeth into some Mediterranean living for a lovely long weekend.

It took me faster than you can say Jack Rabbit to book my ticket and I was counting down the days until I would depart on my first 5-hour train ride across Spain.  Woohoo!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

The lake at Cordinui Vineyards

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be finding a walking trail connecting one side of the wine village to the other on the beautiful vineyard trails at Cordinui in Sant Sadurni!  

So, all this talk of a lake surrounded by sprawling vineyards had me chomping at the bit to go exploring again!  One of my students had mentioned she enjoyed running around a lake located in the vineyards at a Bodega called Cordinui.  

Well, alrighty great Genie of all roads, take me there straight away! I summoned my Google Maps to lead the way, and sure enough, I found this great Bodega called Cordinui, but where was this lake they speaketh of?  It didn't take a rocket scientist at this point to figure this was a fabulous question for the visitor center inside the Bodega.  So, I scurried right in and found someone that spoke enough English to point me in the direction of the Lake.  Hooray!  

I followed the road down to the end and turned in toward the vineyards to begin my exploration of this new territory and it was a grand discovery indeed!  Was that a walking trail sign ahead?  This path was looking promising already.  I followed the trail and finally come upon the lake my student had mentioned.  While the lake itself was nothing to celebrate, the path and its potential were!  You see, today I found out that this little gem of a trail connected the wine village from one side straight to the other while walking through beautiful scenic vineyards.  I can't tell you how often that I came here and took this lovely walk and how the tranquility of this wonderful place would calm my soul as nothing else had up until now.

Cavas Codorniu is located at:  Avenida Jaume de Codorníu, s/n, 08770 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Barcelona

Phone: 938 91 33 42

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Just a couple of jackasses in wine country!

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be a union of jackasses in wine country.

Most who know me might describe me as being a giant jackass.  I'd like to think that those same folks would go as far as describing me as their all-time favorite jackass, but the title nonetheless remains the same.  Total jackass!  

Today, I would find a few other actual donkeys on my daily walk in the wooded vineyards.  You see I was becoming quite the expert on getting my students to reveal the secrets of wine country during my lessons.  I would love getting them talking about their favorite things, places, walks, restaurants, etc.  During a recent class, one of my students revealed that she loved running in the vineyards.  Now, hold on just a minute!  Running in the vineyards? Where the heck was there enough vineyard to run?  I had discovered my fair share of short little walks lined with grapevines in this place, but sprawling vineyards?  I thought that I needed a car to see such things.  

Well, who was the jackass now?  I believe you know that I was implying, it was yours truly again!   My students had informed me of a lake that people walked around that came surrounded by sprawling vineyards.  Now, for someone that while trying to retain the title of Indian Jones of wine country, I was falling a bit short not having not found this bespoken treasure.  So, I was on the hunt again!  Today I would wind through that amazing cemetery I had discovered the week prior, and then I found myself crossing over what seemed to be a busy road leading to a dead-end.  But was it a dead-end?  

Of course not people!  It was the beginning of discovery, yet again!  However, today, it would not be the lake that I discovered (although it was so close I could taste it).  Instead, I would find a couple of real jackasses that called an upper wooded trail in this vineyard home.  As I walked by them, I found myself waving to them and then giggling at my assinine behavior.  In the end, it seemed it was the title of jackass that stuck to me like glue even through my attempts to replace it with a much cooler title of the Indiana Jones of wine country.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

My wild love affair with life in Spain

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be admitting that the best love affair that I was having in Spain was with life itself and I was in no rush to change it!  

Okay, so I didn't date that hunk of a Bodega owner after all the juicy hype I laid out on the table with the "Eat, Pray, Drink" intro.  Ha-ha! However, that man needed a couple of blog posts because he was the only candidate who had a running chance in the teeny wine village that I currently called home here in Spain.  I tremendously enjoyed how he would slip in that I was looking more beautiful than ever on our chance encounters in the wine community, but he never did go as far as asking me on that first date!  Perhaps he had a six sense that I wasn't ready for anything more than our fabulous flirtatious perfection or perhaps Spaniards didn't do the 1950's style dating and courting like back home in the U.S.A.   Oh but don't fret gals, I would ultimately find out their secret, and that story would be the best one yet, I promise!  

In the meantime, it turns out I was learning that I was quite the catch in this tiny land of fine bubbly beverages.  Ha-ha!  It wasn't long before a small string of eligible bachelors were being presented to me one-by-one by the Spanish women of the village.  I found that I was often questioned about my relationship status here.   Interestingly enough, it seemed the precursor to that relationship status question would always be whether or not I was planning to make this tiny place my home for life.  

Now, hold on my Spanish friends!  

Don't make this free bird cut her giant happy wings just yet to settle down in the very first little village I was calling home here in Spain.  I mean, I just got here!   Not to mention, that I have a small ongoing case of commitment phobia that is currently in need of some minor treatment.  Ha Ha!  

This repetitive question was enough to make me want to run for the Spanish hills faster than you could say jack rabbit.  As innocent as this simple issue was, I knew all too well what it meant.  And, I can assure you that I didn't travel halfway around the world to Spain to meet a Spanish man that would never leave the comfort of his Mother's village. Please do not mistake this for how much I admire any son that loves his mama dearly.  It just that I am not looking for one that can't move more than a mile from Mama's teet over the course of his entire lifetime.  

Aside from this small thing, I wasn't ready for love in Spain yet!  In all seriousness, I was just beginning to fall back in love with life itself after my creative struggles back in the U.S.A.  With that said, from here on out, I would proudly shout from the rooftops "I was indeed having the most incredible love affair in Spain, but it wasn't with any particular person, it was with life itself!  And, when I found someone else that was doing the same thing, then we would probably have a great love affair together."  Until that time, I was happy exploring this country solo and appreciated the time that I allowed myself to stop and smell the roses for awhile.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Innocent flirting livens up a Monday morning

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's some innocent flirting would liven up my Monday morning on the way to work!

Monday was here again, and I was back to work teaching English between the local cava companies and a tiny cultural center in the Spanish wine village where I lived.  Today, just as every other day, I passed by many bodegas.  As I made my way from the biggest cava producer in Spain to the cultural center to teach English this morning, I walked by my favorite garden Bodega.   And, guess who I caught doing a double take as I walked by on this beautiful morning in Spain?  It was that hunky Bodega owner again! Something was rather intriguing to me about this handsome stranger.   

On this morning, I would see the shadows of a few men working with a client at the front gate of his Bodega.  I peered over from across the road to see if my new friend was one of them so I could wave hello.  And behold, from the shadows of the Bodega I could see the reflection of a pair of smart glasses looking over at me and out popped my new handsome friend.   He came out rather quickly because he must have seen me walking by at the speed of light and I would have otherwise quickly raced by his front door missing our chance encounter together on this day.  

As he came outside, he began to wave hello, and I made my way across the street to say good morning.  I let him know that I worked just up the road from his Bodega and passed by each day on my way to work.  This idea seemed to make him smile and guess who was outside a whole lot more after this day when I passed by on my way to work?  You guessed it right!  On days that we would have our chance encounters, some innocent flirting would liven up each of our mornings as we said hello in passing.   It wasn't before long that I might have heard a thing or two that he was, in fact, single and asking pointed questions about the status of his new American teacher friend, yours truly.  Would this be my first Spanish romance or would love come later down the road? Only time would reveal our destiny to come.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Eat, Pray, Drink

courtesy of today.com

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be a potential "Eat, Pray, Drink" romance in Spanish wine country or would it?  Ha-ha!  

On this afternoon, after discovering the most incredible cemetery during my morning walk in the Spanish wine village, I decided it was time to cap the day off with my favorite pastime!   You guessed it!  By enjoying a cold glass of cava (Spain's version of Champagne) at my number one spot for having a drink of bubbly in a beautiful Bodega garden setting.   Now, I have seen my fair share of ridiculous rom com's in my day, and in real life; you NEVER find out that your new favorite spot has a gorgeous, charming single owner that has happened to NEVER be there on any of your previous visits. 

Only today that is exactly what would happen!  I would have the great pleasure of meeting the handsome SINGLE owner of my favorite wine Bodega.  Only, I would initially have no idea that he was single or that he was the owner of the Bodega until managing to insult one of his products quit literally as I was about to shake hands with him for the first time.   

And yet, even with this botch job intro "yours truly" still managed to score a complimentary glass of cava and a lengthy get-to-know-you convo with this handsome stranger just after innocently insulting his family business.  I must say the situation had an "Eat, Pray, Love" ending written all over it.   

The way that I met this handsome man was every bit as charming (and awkward) as in the feature film Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts.   But my story goes something like this; I had become fast friends with the wonderful gentleman who worked the front desk at this scenic Bodega over the past couple of weeks (and as quickly becoming the number one fan of one particular variety of cava).  Today, I decided to switch things up and order a glass of wine instead of my usual favorite (against the better advice of my friend at the front desk).  

It had been an overcast day with the potential of rain looming overhead for hours.  While the rain was coming down, I took shelter under one of the tents in the Bodega's garden, and when the fast storm ceased, I decided to finish up the wine that I didn't care much for and head back to my apartment. 

As I approached the exit of the garden, it appeared as though my friend from the front desk and another man were both looking for something in the backyard (or as I would soon decipher perhaps "someone") ironically right in the direction where I had been sitting a few moments earlier.  As I watched them looking around in a confused manner, I approached them from a side angle startling them with a geeky "surprise"  jump that a child might make to scare unsuspecting friends.  Not only did this startle them both, but with the spastic jump came words I wished I could immediately erase from my mouth.  I blurted out that I had not cared for the glass of wine I just drank as I cluelessly handed my friend the empty glass (while making an exaggerated face expressing my dislike).  It was at this priceless moment that he then introduced me to the handsome owner of the Bodega.  

Something ridiculous of this magnitude would only happen on my watch, so I giggled to myself and quickly rectified the situation with a smoke screen tactic telling them both how much I LOVED the cava I usually ordered.  Not only did this work as a distraction tactic to divert the owner from my insult, but it also led to the complimentary glass of cava that we shared together while the place was shutting down for the afternoon.  

Could there be a potential romance looming here or was it just a fun, flirty encounter with a handsome stranger on this day and many to come?  Only time would tell from here.   
  
Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Life, death and cava

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's adventure was stumbling across the most incredible Spanish cemetery.

Today, I stumbled upon the most incredible cemetery.  I had no idea of knowing how special this place would become to me over the six months to follow.  It quickly became a sanctuary where I could think about the meaning of both life and death while paying homage to those who enjoyed this beautiful space in life before me.  I passed through often to talk to my deceased loved ones, mainly my father and a very special nun named Sister Lupe, whom I had worked years ago on a project that touched my heart deeply.  

As I passed through from one corner to the next, I noticed all of the graves decorated with such vibrant flowers.  I felt an incredible amount of love, and respect for the dead buried here.  The colorful flowers carefully placed throughout the graveyard gave it such vibrancy, but also told a story as I passed by each of these beautifully decorated floral tombstones.  I would imagine these families and sometimes even feel their energy as I passed by and took it all in.  

It wasn't because I became the Whoopie Goldberg of Sant Sadurni summoning up spirits from the afterlife.  It was quite literally because of the framed pictures of the deceased, and their loved ones remained permanently secured on many of these graves.  I had never seen this in a graveyard before.   I would walk through sometimes and get a strong feeling of the family's happiness or even their great loneliness from looking at these photos (or in the case of the later the lack of pictures) placed on each tombstone.  When I saw a grave lacking this floral photographic flair, I would spend some extra time sending some love up to this person and wishing them well on their new journey in the afterlife.  

On this day and many to come, I became reminded of the preciousness of life and the importance of living it well, residing in the moment and sharing the beauty of it all with others.  

I gave a loving shout out to my dad, big Bill, up in heaven and continued on my way to breathe life in a little further on this mysterious cloudy day by stopping at my new favorite bodega for a toast!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Never stop exploring

http://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/indiana-jones-5-everything-know-far.html/?a=viewall

Tiny Adventures in Spain: Today's adventure would be taking back the crown as Indiana Jones of the tiny wine village. 

I know I do a lot of blabbing about loving Facebook.  I am also very aware that many people find this app to be a hugely irritating distraction to life.  Oh, to the contrary she says!  The beauty of Facebook is that I have the ability to jump into a gigantic ongoing conversation with all of the people that I have known (and loved) across many years and adventures in my life.  

Today, a good friend and my former boss Vanessa suggested that I participate in a nature photo challenge, which led me to some real life exploring.  Who's hugely distracted now?  Not this gal?  I was off on a tiny adventure again!  

And, I love nothing more than being the Indiana Jones of my tiny Spanish wine village!  Insert Indiana Jones theme song for those of you reading this offline.  

Today, I realized I hadn't been up to this one street, that led me to another, that then led me to yet another and then a dead end, but wait; there was more!  I followed the dead end and found new vineyards in what seemed like an impasse just behind my apartment building and off a wee bit off into the random distance.  All along, I thought that the only vineyards accessible by foot where the ones I could see dead front and center right behind my building.  What kind of lazy-ass Indiana Jones would have a treasure like this within arms reach and not have discovered it already?  

Oh little wine village, I was not going to let you fool me again!  Who knew what treasures were still awaiting my discovery (as I devilishly rubbed my hands together like a sinister villain)?    

via GIPHY

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Happy spastics in a foreign land tell my story today!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today I would live vicariously through a group of happy spastic grandpas in a foreign land! 

Insert video for those of your reading this offline:  

Today I came across this amazing video depicting a bunch of dancing grandpas in some foreign land, and it got me thinking a bit.  All you need in life are some sweet moves like these and a group of like-minded assclowns clapping along with you to enjoy this fabulous ride called life!  

These grandpas and their brilliant natural espástico tell my story today.  I am sure I have attempted each of these moves (late in the evening) at some point in my life.  So, today no further words seem necessary.  Let these vibrant spastics do the talking instead!  My only last request is how I might get the cameraman from this video along with the old men at the bus stop in my tiny village to join me for a remake in Spanish wine country!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

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