Fernweh (n.) An ache for distant places; the craving for travel.

I am so very tempted to book myself a little weekend city break abroad. I’m not sure if it’s a bit of the New Year’s blues, or if I’m just looking for that next adventure but it’s something I am seriously considering.

I have figured out that the beginning of March would be good for me as I have no deadlines till the end of the month so three days away would hardly make me fall behind. Plus the way my Uni timetable works I’m generally free Saturday’s through to Wednesday’s.

I blame the fact that I live so close to Heathrow airport during term time and the British Airways adverts I saw all over Christmas. But I have been doing some research and have found that three days in Madrid would cost me around £160 for both flights and hotel, which sounds great to me. I’m that sort of traveller that doesn’t really care too much about the sort of place I stay at – as long as it has a bed and a shower I am quite happy. I’ll be out seeing the sights and exploring rather than spending time shut up in my room.

The reason why I’m looking at Madrid, or anywhere in Spain really, is that I have a basic understanding of the language. When I say basic – I do mean basic! I may have done Spanish for my A-Levels but I was never that great at the writing part of the exam but when it came to speaking I did do fairly well. After visiting my dad in Spain at least once a year for over ten years I do seem to pick it up easy every time I go out there and know enough to make myself understood even if it isn’t grammatically correct.

I just feel very bad when I go to a foreign country and can’t even try to speak their language. I feel like the stereotypical arrogant Englishman – not bothering to learn any other language because English is universal. While that is true I do at least want to be able to try.

So me and my basic Spanish skills may be going to Madrid for a few days. I’ve never been to Madrid before and some part of me would like to one day be able to say that I have been to every capital city in the world – or at least in Europe.


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