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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December 2017

Making time between destinations

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure was making time in between destinations count.  And, in the end, wasn't this what life was all about anyway?  

Marianna was my very first friend here in the cava capital of Spain. She was one of those instantly special people who took me into her home with colossal love and openness from the very first day we met. It was my pleasure to make time for my pal Marianna as much as possible in our little village, but it was a bigger treat when those meetings happened by chance encounter!  

Today was one of those days!  Hooray!  I had gotten used to walking through the wine village from cava company to cava company teaching English to the local executives and their employees.   I also taught English lessons at a small cultural center in the wine village consisting of groups or one-to-one private lessons with children through retirees wanting to learn English as a second language.  

It's true that I have always been a fast walker.  And while I'd like to believe I have forever taken in the world around me no matter what my pace, it absolutely wasn't true.  Thankfully, here in Spain, I was stopping to smell the roses more than I ever had before.  It was still on occasion that my old habits reverted to the tunnel vision of getting from one destination to the other while missing the beauty of what's happening in between targets, but I tried to make an effort not to do this abroad.   Wasn't life, in the end, what happens between reaching our bigger goals anyway?    

Gratefully so, I was aware of that today and while being present happened to see my beautiful pal Marianna sitting at an outdoor cafe with her head down immersed in a notepad as I strolled by her.  

That's right!  I did a lot of strolling these days, and even my brisk walks had me paying more considerable attention to taking these moments in and being present.  

Today Marianna inspired me to stop my walking altogether and have a seat with her to enjoy a small window of time between teaching classes.   

Maximizing these short windows of time and taking breaks seemed to be very cultural here in Spain and I was getting used to this refreshing pace and the impact it was having on my life experiences abroad in the tiniest of moments in time. 

What special treat might you notice in between your destinations today?   

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is 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'll send one summary email a week on Monday. Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Tiny doses of appreciation

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure was a kind encounter with my neighbor which reminded me that when I attempted to see the world through a positive lens with gratitude; I received love back in the most unsuspecting ways.  

It was now the beginning of April, and while most experiences abroad were rather pleasant ones, my shaky relationship with the wifi in Spain is one of the few that continues to plague me to this very day.

Not a significant problem in the world, but this little one was nagging at me due to my line of work.  Frustrated and unable to lesson plan to teach English, I took refuge in one of my neighborhood spots called Tabalots to have a coffee and connect to the free wifi.  It was a small cozy place, and on this very Friday, it was beginning to pack up full of people.  

My coffee turned into a cava (Spain's version of champaign), and while drinking it, I made friends with the man next to me that happened to be my neighbor.  We spoke back and forth using my translator app (a lifesaver for me here in Spain), and I told him that I was at the cafe to use the free wifi since I could not get a good connection at home.  

The next morning I decided to visualize only good things to come and finally committed to staying in my apartment long enough to make sense out of signing a short-term contract with the local internet provider.  Upon walking back from signing on the dotted line with the internet company, I ran into my new neighbor friend again near the apartment.  He saw me, and as I approached, he handed me a piece of paper containing his very own wifi code for access to his connection.  How sweet!  I told him it would only be for a week or two until mine was connected and muchas gracias (many thanks) for being so kind and thoughtful.

The following day my neighbor asked me how the wifi was.  I profusely thanked him, so he assumed that it was working great!  However,  it was his random act of kindness that I profusely appreciated him for.  Unfortunately, as it turned out, his connection didn't reach far enough to work in my place.  Nonetheless, I was so moved by his sweet gesture.  It was just another reminder that when I attempted to see the world through a positive lens with gratitude; I received love back in the most unsuspecting ways.  These tiny doses of appreciation would make for some of my grandest of tiny adventures in Spain.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is 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'll send one summary email a week on Monday. Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

The Foreign Fifteen begins!

Image provided by Cafe de Placa Facebook Page

Tiny adventures in Spain: Today's tiny adventure had me joining a gym in wine country, skipping the workout, discovering my first menu del dia (menu of the day) and topping it off with a tour of the local chocolate factory for the free samples!  Hey, nobody ever said I did things in the right order.  

What is it about joining the gym?  It's the lesson I never learn.  

As much as I always tried to convince myself this was a good idea, being cooped up in a small space with sweaty people does not trigger an athletes-high for me.  Why I thought my attendance or attention span for boring indoor workouts would change overseas is beyond me.  

It sure seemed like the right thing to do while coming to the end of my first winter here in Spain.  It was now beginning to look a bit like Spring was ahead.

Today, I decided to skip the workout and take those un-used workout clothes back out that front door of the gym on signup day and celebrate this effort with a proper lunch.  It would be my first introduction to the glorious Menu del Dia (Menu of the Day) in Spain.  Oh, boy!  The menu is offered midday in Spain and typically comes with three courses (usually giving three options to pick from per course), wine or beer and coffee at the end are all traditionally included.  It is the bargain of the century for any hungry food lover here in Spain usually at a set price starting anywhere from 9 to 15 Euros depending on where you go and the options you have.  You'll find at most places the rate hovers around the 10 Euro mark.  This culinary discovery would eventually earn me my first "Foreign Fifteen."  Ha-ha!  That's right people, coined here first on Bohemian Agent, "The Foreign Fifteen" which would be those fifteen or so pounds you potentially gain when you move to a foreign country and sample everything in sight the first year.  

I have always been a late bloomer.  So, while most people took on those extra pounds their freshman year in college with "The Freshman Fifteen" (the excess weight put on during the first year of school), I was getting some booty in my forties overseas.  I have had a ball eating tapas and sampling drinks like it's been my job here in Spain.  Today all I saw was the writing on the wall in front of me.  That wall being the menu out front, which read: 

Three-courses (I choose to start out with a paella, then moved on to a beef stew as my primary and selecting a flan for dessert), an alcoholic beverage of choice (mine was a glass of cava), a bottle of water, and a cafe con leche, all for only 14 Euros.  You had me at cava-included (Spain's version of champagne) in a village known for this bubbly beverage all throughout Spain!  I took every last bite on this beautiful day.   

On my walk back to the house, I got a whiff of that local chocolate factory again, but unlike my last visit attempt to see inside, it was opened up for business today as I walked by the front door.  I strolled right into the delightful discovery of a room full of free chocolate samples.  Guess who got their sample face on today?  Hallelujah!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is 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'll send one summary email a week on Monday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent