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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Something was different now

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  My unshakeable trust in the Universe would bring me great joy on this day in Spain as I learned to receive the abundance of a smooth first day teaching English abroad.

My first ten days in Spain had already come and gone and were spent with grandiose enjoyment.  Sure, the first ten days required tons of to-do's and daunting checklists to prepare for my new job teaching English on day eleven.  But every single minute of it felt like a gift.  Something was much different now.  When I think about the energy required to exit the U.S.A. versus that required entering into Spain, they seem like comparing night and day in my memory. 

To accomplish my dream of coming to Spain, it required getting clear on what I wanted, believing I could have it with every fabric of my being and then taking massive inspired action (jumping over hurdles that would make Bruce Jenner blush).  All while having a certain unshakeable trust in the success of my mission.  This required belief with all my heart that it was already mine for the taking and visualizing that I was already there enjoying my new adventure abroad. 

Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier

Receiving my desire to come to Spain occurred in record speed, at record speed.  The Universe knows nothing of time, so your manifestations might come faster than you ever initially imagined.  Leaving the country wasn't without its challenges. But, the biggest obstacles would seem to solve themselves quickly and with great ease, as I let the Universe guide me through the "how" of it all and kept focused on believing and trusting in the outcome of the “what”.      

Arriving in Spain also came with its overwhelming moments. There were hurdles to jump as well.  But, I now had a better relationship with my power to create, and the trust would come more naturally here (when I consciously tuned into it).  The Universe gave me what I wanted.  A job in the Barcelona region of Spain starting in January 2016.  I had manifested that position at the end of December 2015.  I managed to align myself with the idea that leaving the country with ten days to do it was indeed a possibility and so it was.  And, here I was.   About to begin my first day of work at the new job I had accepted in Spain.  

Today would require more work on trust.  But, honestly; it didn't feel like work at all.  The feeling of trust on this day came with ease (even though I was entering into an entirely new challenge in my life).  I was beginning a position teaching English as a foreign language. My students would range from executives at the Cava companies to students of all ages at the cultural center.  The small cultural center had lost both English teachers simultaneously in the mid of the year (hence the hasty job opening).  I accepted this position knowing full well what this situation might entail (the possibility of chaos).  Looking back now, I may have gone far as creating an unknown agreement to this idea, but it would not rear itself on this day.  

Today, I had set the intention that all would go smoothly with my first English lessons.  I envisioned my arrival to each of the companies occurring with ease and meeting my students at the cultural center going equally as effortlessly.   My plan was to trust, introduce myself with a get-to-know-you lesson and hope for the best.  And, that's what I received.

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

I love Google Maps in Spain!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today Google Maps would guide wind me through the streets of my small village leading me past an unexpected Cava museum at Caves Blancher in Sant Sadurni, D'Anoia in Spanish wine country.  

It was now Sunday, my 10th day in Spain.  With tomorrow being my first day of teaching English as a foreign language (ever), I figured a good starter idea might be to learn how to get to the school from my new apartment.  It was already quite clear from the lack of info I'd received about my students that the following day would come with enough surprises.  I felt it best to remove finding the school from that (already intimidating) list immediately.  With that said, I grabbed my keys excitedly to explore my new neighborhood and let Google Maps guide the way!  A quick side note here: Google Maps is just about one of the best things you can have for getting around even the most obscure and tiniest of villages here in Spain.  I absolutely love using Google Maps in Spain!  Don't leave that off your download list if you are taking a whirl over here for an adventure yourself.  

As Google Maps led me up the hill, it would only be one block before I would start winding my way past bodega (winery) after bodega (winery).  I felt my heart flutter a bit as I grabbed my iphone camera to capture everything while I wound through the streets of Sant Sadurni D'Anoia in the Barcelona region of Spain.  I couldn't help notice one of the bodegas being open, and I slipped through the door peeking my head in with exploratory inquisition and behold!  It had its own little museum inside all about cava.  I love unexpected discoveries! I wasn't sure if I should be buying something or if my poking around was accepted here, but I proceeded along with my poking and hoped for the best.  

I wound up having an exciting visual tour in this tiny cava museum at Caves Blancher, but without a guide or the slightest clue how to read Spanish, I'm afraid I can't take you on the full detailed journey of what I'd found there that day.  It was just simply an unexpected adventure on my way to finding the school where I would be teaching English as a foreign language the following day.  I happily enjoyed the spontanetiy of it for that brief moment in time.  I then continued up the hill arriving at my destination after a quick 10 minutes walk from the new apartment.  Not too shabby, I thought!  I decided at that point; I had scored a great living location for getting to work relatively quickly (and easily thank you Universe) now allowing me plenty of time to continue my Sunday exploring.

I had no other specific destination in mind for the remainder of this day, so I shut off my Google Maps for the moment and began walking in the first direction that looked intriguing.  

It would be just a short ways further where I'd come across something interesting enough to stop me in my tracks and park myself at an outdoor table for a cava in the sun.  I had stumbled upon what felt like a private concert sung by a little wine village version of "The Gypsy Kings" made up of a few happy Spaniards enjoying cerveza (beer) and a guitar at the next table.  I soaked in the sun and the music while deciding that there wasn't much point in killing myself with worry about the lack of information I had going into my first day of teaching English the following day.

Caves Blancher is located at Plaça del Pont Romà, 15, 08770 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Barcelona.  Go ahead and pop in for a spontaneous tour to see the tiny Cava Museum on the weekend!  Be forewarned most smaller Bodega's in town don't speak English but why should they when you are here for the full Spanish experience.  Embrace the unknown my wanderlust sisters!  

Phone +34 938 18 32 86

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 Barcelona businessman

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today I would learn how to negotiate with savvy for my shared apartment in the Spanish wine country.

It was now Saturday and my 9th Day in Spain.  Today I would meet the Barcelona businessman who would become my "once a month roommate" in the tiny wine village.  When I first heard about this "Barcelona businessman," I couldn't help but conjure up an image of a savvy handsome Spanish man full of charisma and charm.  Well, ladies, this guy was not that!  In fact, turns out he was just about the furthest things from a businessman that I might meet in Spain.  Poor guy did not speak a word of English and was about to be mowed down by a French woman (my boss) and a Jersey girl (me) when it came to negotiating the rules for living in his apartment near the biggest Cava producer in Spain.     

I entered the apartment to see the space and meet the Barcelona businessman that morning.  In my quick research, it seemed feasible to have my own apartment in this village for about 400-450 Euros a month.  I told the universe I wanted an affordable apartment close to work and the train to Barcelona.  I had a mental budget set of about 200 euros for rent on a shared apartment, and that's what I was prepared to negotiate for on this day (the only difference here was that it was not everyday shared, hooray for me).  I came ready to pay a deposit on top of the rent and of course, to have a discussion about the utilities as well. 

With my boss translating (and upping the ante even more than I), we'd get him to give up his bedroom (the master) and turn it over to me.  This agreement left him sleeping on the couch and giving his children the spare bedroom (which contained a twin-sized bunk bed) that he had intended for me (I don't think so.  Ha-ha!  Homie don't play that).  

Insert clip of "Homie, the clown" for those of you reading this offline:

We'd then negotiate that he'd spend one weekend a month in the apartment (with his children) and that he would give me notice upon his arrival.  I must tell you.  Something about that Barcelona businessman gave both my boss and I the heebie geebies. (Pay attention to your instints ladies.  I would have added "no creepers" to my manifesting if I had realized the full power of the law of attraction back then).  However, it would suffice as a starter apartment seeing that I was already firm on not paying for the hostal any longer, and it was time to put my energy toward taking the first steps to some normalcy in Spain. 

The Barcelona businessman and I would wind up with a final verbal agreement of 235 Euros a month, which included my utilities and no deposit.  This part of the negotiation would be due to my boss informing him it was not legal to ask for a deposit if the apartment was not being entirely turned over to the tenant.  To this very day, I'm not sure if there is any truth to this statement, but she had both the businessman and I convinced of it, and that's what matters for this story.   

Strangely, something about this apartment key left the hardware store baffled and unable to create a duplicate in the tiny wine village.  So, I'd take the original set of keys (again the Barcelona businessman was not very savvy, or perhaps he was!) forcing me to meet up with him again in Barcelona to make a spare copy for myself for the apartment.   

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

Pepe, the bank man

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Setting up my new bank account in Spain also landed me the new apartment in Barcelona's wine region that had been setting intentions to find in my small wine village.

It was now day eight in Spain, and I could have never imagined my hero that day would become a bank man named Pepe!  My hostal (hotel) reservation was due to expire yet again, and I admit that I had not been very focused on finding a much needed apartment in Spain.  It was time to set the firm intention that I would not be renewing this hostal reservation into the following week.  

Sure, I had paid more than the cost of a month's rent in one week's time staying at the hostal (hotel).  With that said, it was a rather small price to pay seeing I accepted a job offer in Spain on a random Monday followed by clearing out of the country in record speed (ten days to leave the country and eight days and counting in Spain) without as much as a short-term plan.

I did the best thing I could at this point, and that was setting a firm intention for finding an apartment that very weekend, and that's just what I did!   The unfolding of it all involved the standard toolkit for manifesting great things: getting clear, making a mental deadline and letting Pepe the bank man do the rest.  Ha-ha!  Well, the universe!  In this case, it came in the form of a banker named Pepe.  The secret wouldn't be in the "how" this happened.   It would be clearly defining the "what" (bringing me straight into alignment with the bank man who had the magic plan). 

It went something like this.  My boss had a bank transaction, she went to Pepe and while he was running it through she would make small talk about her new teacher (me) needing a very affordable apartment in the village.  She'd leave, and I'd come to the bank to start a new account and tell Pepe that I was a new teacher in the village and I needed an apartment.  I'd leave, and a newly divorced businessman would come in and inform Pepe he was now living in Barcelona, but he has kept his apartment in the small wine village to visit his children once a month.  Pepe might have then asked him if he was interested in renting out this apartment and I would wind up with a (once a month) roommate that very next day.  Done, done and done!  

Thanks to the help of Pepe, the bank man, I not only had a new Spanish bank account that morning, but I was able to score myself an apartment (in alignment with my set intentions).  Thanks to the help of my boss, I now had my N.I.E., my village residency, my social security number and my new job that would begin just three days after this very day.  My daunting checklist was dwindling down, and now the biggest things on it would be moving into my new apartment the next day (to meet the Barcelona businessman, who would become the source of ridiculous stories in the future) and figuring out how to teach English as a foreign language in the next three days.  

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

On, see the happy moron

Tiny Adventures in Spain: Cheerfully waving my way through the Spanish wine village would wind up having me friends with the whole lot of them by the time I left seven months later. 

It was day seven in Spain, and I must say it had already been quite the adventure!  It was lovely to have had Filip's company (for four of the most recent days) and to have become friendly with some of the villagers already.   I continued to find myself walking up and down the streets and waving to the rest of the unfamiliar faces daily, most of them would eventually turn into friends of mine as well.  I'd spend seven months living in this small village and cheerfully waving my way through it to each and every villager that I passed.  If this makes me a happy moron; then indeed I am!  Ha-ha!  

I came across this quote, and it couldn't have made me laugh more or be more suiting to this experience.

See the happy moron,
He doesn’t give a damn,
I wish I were a moron,
My God! Perhaps I am!

There is something about this fabulous little quote that makes my heart sing.  I had an unabashed happiness come over me in Spain.  After accomplishing what began as merely a dream on a Monday and turning it into my new daily reality by the following Friday (moving to Spain in 10 days), I had a new awakened bohemian spirit burning inside of me.  One that allowed me to spend my days light-hearted and carefree knowing that I had the power of creating all of the best and worst moments ahead.  With this new spirited energy, I was on a mission to fill my days with nothing but the best moments yet!

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

A smile and genuine intentions go a long way

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  This day the Universe would guide me along with getting my Número de Identificación de Extranjero (N.I.E.) in Spain, and all I made I provided extra was the smile and the best of my intentions.  

It was day six in Spain and Filip's last day.  We'd wake up early and head back to Vilanova (with my boss) to finalize my N.I.E. meaning Número de Identificación de Extranjero.  The N.I.E. is a Foreigner Identification Number issued by the Administración General del Estado  (General Administration of the State) as an identification number for foreigners.  My N.I.E. number would be essential for every single activity requiring my identity during my time in Spain.  For example, without it, I was unable to sign a lease, a work contract, get a phone plan (that wasn't a pay-as-you-go plan like the one I got with Mr. Mohammed), start a bank account, get internet, etc.  I would need to arrive at my appointment in Vilanova that morning with proof that I had a pre-contract for work.  My boss and I made this official by using her address temporarily with city hall.  I was still living in a hostal awaiting an affordable apartment to appear in my life magically, and it did that coming weekend thanks to Pepe, the bank man (but more on that later).  

I must tell you that I had a tremendous stroke of luck every step of the way during this process (thank you Universe, no accident here ladies).  My boss would be in amazement with how kind and generous the typically cold government workers would act toward me and the rules and requirements that they would "slightly bend" to help this entire process go as smooth as silk for me.  What I mean by "slightly bend" the rules here is that they would kindly make me the extra copies that I should have brought along of certain official documents and I would be sent off with my N.I.E. on the spot (apparently, unheard of and usually requiring an annoying trip back weeks later).  Had that happened, I would not have been able to create a work contract in record speed to start teaching English just a few days later and open a bank account the day following this appointment.  Again, the Universe would guide me along and help fill in the how to wrap up this miracle called "moving to Spain in 10 days" with success and abundance.    

I have learned that a smile along with genuine intentions go a long way no matter where you are on this little planet that we all call home.

With all going smoothly here, Filip and I were able to scurry off back to the wine village and enjoy an excellent Spanish-style lunch at my newest happy place where duck, sea salt, oranges and cava would make me want to dance in the streets.  We'd enjoy a medley of other Spanish Tapas Filip's treat since I made sure we had the hostal extension the night before.  

Cava is what this small wine village was known for producing, and I would soon become one of it's biggest supporters.  If you've never heard of cava, it is fabulous and made using the same process as champagne, but with Spanish grapes instead of the ones from the Champagne region of France.

We'd then grab a few additional snacks to go from my new buddy at the Pakistani shop, along with a couple of brewskis, allowing us to enjoy a final picnic overlooking the Vineyard of the biggest Cava producer in Spain while Filip got ready to board his train back to Barcelona and say goodbye. 

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

What do I look like Christopher Columbo?

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today I would see Barcelona for the first time without any agenda and discover that some of the best days are those without a plan.  

It felt like a very magical time of year to arrive in Spain.  It was now my 5th day, and it would be the official celebration of The Three Kings holiday.  That would mean the small village would be dead as a doornail while all the Spanish families stayed indoors to celebrate the kings and dine together.  

Naturally, Filip and I were excited to do some more exploring being new to Spain and all its wonders.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to give Barcelona a whirl for our first time, which we hoped would be more lively than the wine village.  (Please note: Spaniards do not mess around when celebrating a holiday.  It's all about the family, so except for the biggest cities, most villages are on complete lockdown on days like this).  

We learned the train schedule, (on holidays they run every hour rather than every half-hour) and we waited for the next train heading out of the wine village and straight into Barcelona.  It would have been the perfect time to catch a quick power nap, but the train ride would be unexpectedly breathtaking seeing it for the first time.  I would learn to enjoy this train ride very much passing through all the sprawling vineyards as we headed out of Spanish wine country and into the big city of Barcelona.  

We chose Plaça de Catalunya as our Barcelona stop.  Placa de Catalunya (or Plaza of Cataluna) would land us right in the center of the city, and it's your best bet for exploring Barcelona without a plan.  I'd find out that some of the most famous streets in Barcelona intersect with this plaza.  Those include Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l'Àngel.   It turns out that on this day without a plan, we would ironically wind up stumbling upon the monument honoring Christopher Columbus (and look what he wound up discovering)!  

Insert "What do I look like Christopher Columbo" clip when Clark gets lost in the hood on National Lampoon's vacation for those of your reading this offline.

It wouldn't take long for us to discover two amazing things that day.  Live street music and the spontaneous meeting of two very spirited Americans named Michael and Jasmine who were also enjoying this lovely street show.  We would wind up zig-zagging our way through La Rambla, finding the port, admiring the statue of Christopher Columbus, stumbling upon an artisan street market and helping ourselves to a bottle of wine and some cheese that we'd enjoy in the streets all while giggling with our new friends Michael and Jasmine.     

Afterward, Filip and I would search out something to eat and settle on a small joint advertising Paella (with wine included) for under 15 Euros.  Sold American!  We happily took it lock, stock and barrel!  We found out that the train back would stop running fairly early, so shortly after enjoying dinner, we'd make our way back to the wine village for a good nights sleep.  We'd be meeting my boss first thing in the morning for that appointment in Vilanova to finish what I started with my NIE application.  

The moral of this post is that sometimes the best days are those when you explore a new city without a plan.  You might not claim a new continent like Christopher Columbus did, but you just might find something else worth writing home about and more importantly meet some new friends along the way!    Filip and I are still in touch with both Michael and Jasmine over one year later.  I have a sneaking suspicion that all of our paths might just cross again.

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 Three Kings village celebration

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A gathering of the entire Spanish wine village to catch candy from three Kings would be this evening's tiny adventure.

Upon returning from the beach in Vilanova.  Filip and I would be told to prepare to celebrate the Three Kings along with the rest of the village in the town center.  The holiday of the Three Kings was similar to a Spanish Christmas on the 6th of January, and the little village would gather to celebrate it in the streets the evening before.  

Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar are the three kings (also known as the three wise men), and they are the bomb diggity on this particular day.  It's a favorite Spanish Christmas tradition amongst the kids.  Santa Claus (or Papa Noel) does not get dissed in Spain; he is still well-known for delivering toys and presents.  However, the real stars in Spain are Los Reyes (The Three Kings) who throw candy to the children from their floats in the streets and (also magically come through the windows during the night to deliver gifts to the house).  The kids write their letters to the three kings letting them know what wonderful gifts they are hoping to receive.  They have the opportunity to deliver those letters officially when they arrive after the parade, or they would have done so earlier in the day to the "royal postmen" who can be found in most town centers.  

Filip and I gathered with the rest of the villagers to welcome these three kings down the streets of the small Spanish village.  We enjoyed a glass of wine in the streets as the floats went by and as the Kings threw candy out for the children to gather.

It was a beautiful celebration!  It's a fun tradition for the children to pick their favorite kings and to become overly excited when their favorites pass in the parade.  Filip and I joined along in the gathering of candy for this sweet young girl that I met while waiting for the festivities to begin.  I also cracked up when I got pegged in the face with a piece of candy while trying to capture the moment on my camera.  

I am told that the legend is the Three Kings arrive by camel late in the evening through the windows, so children will leave bread and water by the windowsill to feed the camels while the Kings work their magic and leave the gifts behind during the night.  Well, I am sure Filip and I just drank like camels that night and then tucked ourselves into bed to rest up for our first exploration of Barcelona the next day. 

Speaking of bed, we wound up extending my reservation at the hostal for another couple of nights because I had not manifested that apartment in the village just yet.   I had my new boss asking around to all the villagers, and my fingers would be tightly crossed anticipating my new home in Spain by weeks end.  

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

Discovering Vilanova i la Geltrú

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  What started out as a daunting day full of checklists soon became replaced with the enjoyment of beachfront brewsky in Vilanova i la Geltrú.

We rose up on the morning of day four in Spain like champions but felt a bit groggy.  Filip came along to meet my new boss so that we could begin that daunting checklist I had ahead of me.  We headed out to Vilanova to get my N.I.E. number.  If you’re from another E.U. member state as I was (Ireland, thanks to Grandpa C and my second passport), you don’t need a work visa to work in Spain, but you do need a number de identification de extranjero (N.I.E.) number. To get it, you must go to the local Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigner’s Office) to fill out an application.  The first step should be to go online and make an appointment.  I heard the waiting period was about 2 – 3 weeks.  However, I must have some serious angels in my life.  We arrived at the office and naturally declined for not having an appointment, BUT miraculously got scheduled the day after the next (because the next day would be a big Spanish holiday called the Three Kings). 

Anyway, since we arrived and then declined for our first appointment,  Filip and I decided to explore what Vilanova is known for, and that's the beach.  We started walking in what seemed like a good direction and started asking people "La Playa," which means the beach and found our way to it eventually.  My boss had to do some Christmas shopping for the Three Kings Holiday (that would be celebrated with a parade that evening and at home the following day for most Spanish families) and this allowed us the magical little timeslot for the beach.  

Vilanova i la Geltrú is a city in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and the capital of the Garraf comarca.  Like most beaches cities in Spain, Vilanova was historically known as a fishing village.  Now the population would ring in around 70,000 and is located southwest of Barcelona.  I'd make my way back there again to enjoy the beach view some more, but today we would be making our way to the sand and planting ourselves on it, followed by a beachfront cocktail at SolviHotel.  

Side note: this sand would stay lodged in my backpack for the next month, but worth every second of carelessly frolicking on the Mediterranean for that short while. 

The moral of this post is always be up for an unexpected adventure.  This day began with our mission being a daunting checklist (waaah, waaaah, waaaah waaaaaah) and before I knew it, I was beachfront sucking down a brewsky. Allow yourself simple luxuries daily to remind the universe you are ready to receive it's unbounded abundance.  

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

It was late afternoon, and my first visitor arrived in Spain

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  There was no time like the present to make the best of my third day in Spain with a spontaneous handsome visitor.  

It was late afternoon on day three in Spain, and I would be greeting my first visitor Filip at the train station.  Filip was a very handsome man under that grizzly beard he had grown since I'd seen him last.  Clean shaven, I'd say Filip could easily be the doppelgänger of Guy Pearce.  Or that might have been all that Cava talking?  Ha-ha!  I'm totally kidding, he is very handsome indeed and now a great friend.  It had been years since we met at an art event in Denver (then becoming friends on Facebook).  We never had a chance to get to know each other very well before this visit.  There's no time like starting in Spain then.  So, this day would begin our very first mini-adventure together!

Filip happened to see my Facebook check-in to Spain and spontaneously asked if I wanted a visitor.  I said sure after letting him know that I had no idea where I would find myself living the next evening when my hostal reservation expired and also that I had a ton of things to do to become legal to work/live in Spain.  He agreed to come and make the best of the unknown with me and that's just what we did.  Arrangements were made quickly, as he was only a short flight away in Belgium.   He had been visiting his grandmother there for the past month and excited to get away for a little adventure before heading back to the states. 

I admit that initially, I had mixed emotions about adding a visitor to my hearty list of things to do, but in retrospect, I am glad to have had the company.  It was the 4th of January (Monday), and classes would start on the 11th (the following Monday).  I met Filip at the train station and would walk him back to the hostal to leave his bag and then we'd plant ourselves at an outdoor cafe to get to know each other over some typical Spanish tapas and beer.  It would be my first introduction to some very traditional things in Spain.  The first of them would be a beer mixed with a lemon soda or Fanta (similar to a Shandy).  The way to order it correctly, I would later find out is "Una Clara."  This cafe had it on draft, and it was delicious!  I drank a couple of them to wash down the olives stuffed with anchovies and the tortilla de berenjenas (egg with eggplant or more commonly known as aubergine here).  After a couple of hours of this, we both decided to follow tradition and have ourselves a siesta (nap) before exploring the village that evening.

It would be my first night exploring the wine village with a friend, but we'd have to get up early the next day and meet my boss to begin my task list for work. News flash, it didn't stop us from enjoying the night ahead.  In the evening we found our way to a cozy place that I would wind up revisiting again and again in the village.  I discovered it had been recently taken over by new owners who were cava producers.  Naturally, we would indulge ourselves in several glasses of that cava while trying to communicate with the locals about what we should have to eat (Filip's Spanish was as bad as mine).  

Here, we discovered a few more traditional dishes and seasonal favorites for that time of year.   Patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), chicken cooked on an open fire and the most interesting being the seasonal calgots (which seemed something between a leek and a scallion, but seared and blackened on the open fire and then peeled and eaten).  It's messy, and it's delicious, it's peeled apart and then dipped into a special sauce.  We closed this bar down and headed back to the hostal with a bottle of Cava to go that we scored at the Pakistani shop along with some snacks that would only seem appealing to people who have had way too much to drink.  All in all, I would say the evening was a great success.  

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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