Becoming An Expat

9 years ago today in the early hours of the morning, I glimpsed one last time at the house I’d lived at for 3 years, locked the front door and slid the keys through the letter box. I was about be homeless in-between countries for the next 12 hours. After inhaling one of my last breaths of London air, I climbed into the taxi for Stratford station to catch the bus to Stanstead airport. AJ had been picked up the day before, the house had gone ahead a few days earlier and I was flying to Barcelona with all my essential life in 2 suitcases and roll on. Growing up, there was only one thing I knew I wanted to do, live abroad. I didn’t know how it would happen, but thanks to Paul’s job, it did. With little Spanish I made it to my home for the next 7ish years. Aj arrived the day after looking unfazed in his cat box on the back of a fork lift truck when I picked him up from the cargo terminal. Him, his brother and I have been having adventures ever since.

Tibidabo in the distance:IMG_9201

Living in another country, looks and sounds glamorous and exciting. It is to a point. There’s always something new to experience, a new phrase to learn and people think it’s exciting as it’s different to life that’s theirs. After a while, the excitement wears off, you get routine going and life goes on. So my weekends can be as exciting or unexciting as anyones.

Last Friday after a trip the zoo (my sanctuary and they’re finally constructing new environments) we decided to get dinner out. Google took us to a vegan restaurant round the corner from where I/we used to live in the Born. The name got me excited: The Cat Bar (cats!) and their spinach burger was voted the best by the Spanish version of the RSPCA (or something similar). Bingo! I thought I’d found the perfect veggie burger until the next day and that’s all I’m saying!

El Borne.IMG_9127Weekends in the summer are reserved for the beach. The weather doesn’t feel as hot this year. Maybe I’ve climatised. Clouds roll in most afternoons around 5-6pm, which I don’t remember them doing so much in previous years. There’s been more thunderstorms. Saturday was no exception. I swear the temperature dropped 10 degrees. At the beach we could see the clouds coming and just made it back in time. We abandoned plans, but I still wanted to get out the house. So what do you do after a thunderstorm? Go for a bike ride!

Saturdays workout partnerIMG_2728

Calm after the storm
IMG_9158 IMG_9166 IMG_9168

Recently I’ve started to increase my distance running. I’m not looking at half marathons, marathons or iron mans, I just want to see how far I can go and I’m getting bored with my 10km half way marks. Thursday, I started to toy with 14km on Sunday. My furthest distance yet. I mean it’s only an extra kilometre on 12km turn around point from last weekend, right?

Somewhere up the Costa Brava near 14km half way pointIMG_2805 IMG_2813

Ha! I was prepared for the leg ache and tiredness later, but not a golpe de calor. I took plenty of water, wore a cap and slowed when needed, but I don’t think I hydrated enough the day before. I wasn’t prepared for the headache later, one where your brain’s knocking around from too much sun. Sleep, yoga and ice cream helped ease it and you bet I’m doing 14km next week!

Hope you had a great weekend! What’s your too much sun remedy?

 

 

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