Ticking things off my bucket list has become a bit of obssession lately. After a near-fatal heart attack in 2021, it has become all the more important to me to enjoy life every day, the ups and downs, and to make things happen.
One of my bucket list items was to live in Europe for an extended period in one place - to live like a local - and so here I am in a village in Southern Spain for the next couple of months.
And how fabulous it is...adapting to a Spanish lifestyle. The Spaniards redefine the term "laid back", enjoying and embracing an outdoor, active lifestyle with friends and family every day of the week.
Particularly interesting is the way they eat. Breakfast is late by Australian standards - 9am onwards - and consists of coffee and bread.
Lunch is 3pm-ish. And then everything closes down - the afternoon siesta is real - until 7pm with dinner often late, late at night. 9pm dinner is early; many families eat at 10pm onwards.
I thought I would struggle with those hours - I am usually in bed by 10pm but slowly, slowly, I am adapting and it has most definitely resulted in a much less frenetic me!
The best bit is the tapas menu - I have been buying tapas bits and pieces and having a glass of wine at 5pm.
Grilled artichokes, BBQ'd octopus, olives in abundance, fabulous tasting tomatoes. Did I mention Iberico ham - all drenched in olive oil - with local artisan bread - what is not to love?
Our house has a lemon tree in the front yard, an orange tree in the backyard and is five minutes walk to a gorgeous beach.
So my Spanish Sojourn - albeit two weeks in - is everything and more than I thought it would be!