I say this with fear of being flamed but sometimes after nearly five years of living here, my life in Spain feels like an eternal holiday.
Don’t get me wrong I get up in the morning, take the children to school, work from home, pick them up, cook and so on. But there is always a distinct holiday feel to my life that I wonder if it will ever go away. I am sure that there are lots of contributing factors to this holiday feeling that doesn’t quite seem like real life.
Maybe it’s because I see English people walking around in shorts and sandals looking relaxed all the time. Perhaps it’s because these said people are actually smiling and not diving in their cars to get to work. It could be to do with the marble floors and the absence of clutter “things” in my home which has never felt like home in the British sense of the word.
I grew up about three hours drive from the nearest beach so it may have to do with the fact that I get up every morning and look at the sea. Perhaps it’s because I hear foreign voices everyday that I am always aware that I am in a holiday place. It could be that since we have lived here we have always worked from home so our timetable is flexible and you can take time out to walk by the sea.
I know it sounds like quite an idyllic lifestyle but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life feeling like I am on holiday when, in reality, I am not. Surely I can’t be the only person that feels this way so I have been thinking about how I can stop this eternal holiday feeling and I have come up with the following:
You Have To Make Your House A Home
I am going to finally make my home homely with curtains, rugs and cushions. I feel that it is important to make your home in Spain feel exactly like that. It is all very well trying to make do with what is on offer in the local shops and keeping it as basic as possible because it is the thing to do in Spain but it does lack that cosy factor. So for lovely fluffy towels, pretty quilt cover sets I headed for Dunnes in Fuengirola and to Gibraltar for Marks and Spencer and BHS. They also have accessories that make nice finishing touches such as candles and trinket boxes.
The Need For Routine
Whether you work from home or you have come to Spain to retire you need to give your day structure to get away from the free flowing holiday timeline. I find heading straight to the gym first thing in the morning is such a good start to the day. Afterwards, I come home and feel ready to get on with lots of work. You could go for a quick walk to the supermarket at midday to pick up things for lunch. Each day needs to have a purpose of some sort.
Go On Holiday
Just because Spain has all the ingredients of what used to be your ideal holiday destination, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a change of scenery. In fact, changing your perspective of what a holiday should be might help to eliminate that eternal holiday feeling and make it more “real” for you.
Stop Inviting Your Friends Over For Holidays From Back Home
I don’t like to say it, but having people on holiday with you, while you are not, can really knock your routine out. You wouldn’t have dreamt of inviting entire families over to sit around your house for a couple of weeks whilst you went to work, when you lived back home. So why allow it here? Even worse is when you use up all your holiday time to spend with them just hanging around your own home doing holiday things. You need to get away and have a proper holiday. If you really want to spend time with them you can meet up at a chosen holiday destination away from your home.
Get Your Old Leisure Pursuits Back
Life shouldn’t just be about beach and bars. Sometimes you need to do some of those little things that you associated with leisure back home. This could be go to the cinema or even have a mooch around Leroy Merlin just like you used to go to Homebase in the UK.
Switch On The Telly
Just because there’s blazing hot sun out there don’t feel under pressure to be in it all the time. There’s nothing wrong with staying in and watching a DVD whilst you munch through a packet of biscuits with a cup of tea. If these were the types of pleasures that you enjoyed back home than why can’t you enjoy them here too?
Don’t Change Too Much
People put themselves under pressure to become a completely new person when they live in Spain. They sometimes feel that their life should consist of what they used to do and enjoy when they came out on holiday. However, in order to strike a balance in life you need “real life” time with time out for holidays. I am not saying that you should come to Spain and live the exact same life as you did back home as there would be no point coming. However, it is important to make your life as real as possible to feel properly settled and at home.